Massive Pothole Forces Florida Vitamin Store To Shut Down

Large hole in the asphalt, sinkhole

Photo: Getty Images

A Florida vitamin store is temporarily closing after a massive sinkhole appeared in the business's parking lot last week, according to WESH. Reporters said the Vitamin Shoppe in Ocala will be shut down for several weeks while contractors fix the hazard.

Darren Park with Ocala Public Works Department said the hole is about 30 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep. As for what caused the gaping hole, he said a rainstorm caused the pavement to start collapsing.

“It kind of happens in slow motion but it happens quickly," Park explains. "What it looks like is a drainage pipe failed over time, washed the underlying soil away, and then heavy rains from Friday night put a lot of weight in the pipe, which caused the pipe to collapse."

City crews have been grappling with sinkholes across the area due to old pipes and recent heavy rainfall in the state, according to officials.

"It’s been a very dry year so far. You get those heavy rains; sinkholes are common, particularly in retention areas," Park told reporters. "We’ve been dealing with this all week long."

This isn't a new problem in Florida. For years, massive downpours have caused dangerous sinkholes to appear in neighborhoods, business areas, and other communities. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection even states that sinkholes are just a common natural feature of the state.

WESH said construction on the sinkhole near the Vitamin Shoppe is expected to finish in mid-June.

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