Is Volusia County home to a "leaning tower of pizza"?
A depression in a major downtown DeLand intersection is giving a pizza shop owner a sinking feeling. That's because it's damaging several buildings he owns on the corner of New York and Florida avenues.
The city has begun major road work to fix the road problem in hopes of stopping the shop from sinking.
According to the city, it's not a sinkhole, but a depression in the ground.
That's also how Johnny Kadriu felt -- depressed -- when he first noticed the door to one of his buildings was hard to open. Then, he noticed the floor was sinking.
"I was scared," said Kadriu. "I'm losing the store."
The intersection has been shut down for major repairs to fix the large depression in the road, which was expanding to Kadriu's buildings, primarily a bar and restaurant.
The building owner said problems started when the floor began to sink. Now, a window has a large gap, and there are cracks outside the building.
"You can see the window cracking, the wall moving, the roof leaking," said Kadriu. "I have to fix [the leaking] myself. The insurance doesn't cover it."
DeLand city Engineer Keith Riger said the depression -- and the rest of the problems -- started when the Environmental Protection Agency was tracking a 10-year-old gasoline leak. The agency installed monitors last year, and that, according to Riger, is what triggered Kadriu's headaches.
"It was adjacent to some monitor wells that were installed by vibratory method, and so we suspected that we might have a problem," said Riger.
The city engineer said that vibration loosened compacted dirt, causing the sinking, and forcing the city to act quickly to stop the depression from spreading to more buildings.
"Finally, the city is helping us," said Kadriu. "They started digging, and stopping the problem, I hope."
Kadriu said he hopes his insurance will pay for all the damage, but he was not immediately sure if it would. The price tag on the damage is an estimated $15,000, and the road is expected to be closed for another week.