A day after a sinkhole opened up in a Dunedin neighborhood and destroyed two homes, crews worked to fill the sinkhole with dirt.
The fence was put back up in the 1000 block of Robmar Road as crews wrapped up for the night just before 6 p.m. on Friday. Weather conditions and loss of daylight played a big role the crews productivity.
Officials also wanted to give neighbors a break from all of the traffic and chaos caused by the massive sinkhole.
“The chaos has been unbelievable," said neighbor Kathleen Jennings. "Especially the helicopters and they were around here all day yesterday and again at 6:30 this morning they were here, so it’s been a little nerve wracking but it’s nothing you can do about it.”
The work has just begun and crews have already hauled 52 loads of dirt 10 loads of debris. Officials said another 350 trucks of dirt will have to be brought in to fill the hole.
Crews started to demolish two homes compromised by the sinkhole just after 9 a.m. on Friday. Family members and neighbors watched from the street as the heavy equipment tore through the homes.
"We live down the street and I said if it happened to our house, I would just cry," neighbor Michele Snyder said. "I wouldn't know what to do."
"People get to watch it from their living rooms and shut the TV off and it goes away," neighbor Jill Latsha said. "But we're here and when we go inside, we can still hear the helicopters and see the trucks and just it's hard to see, it's hard to watch."
One home was torn down Friday, the other is set to be demolished Saturday morning.
“My heart just breaks for them because they lost everything. I’m lucky I didn’t loose anything,” said Jennings.
Neighbors say the attention and fear caused by the sinkhole has exhausted them.
“I’m very tired," said Jennings. "I’m sure I look it. I didn’t get much sleep last night, crews were out here at 3:30 this morning,” Jennings said.
Matthew Tegerdine and his 11-year-old son Ronan, were ordered out of their home right next door to the sinkhole. They said even if they weren’t banned from going inside, they don’t know if they could sleep there.
“Every time I hear a crack or a pop or something in the house now I’m going to be thinking oh my, you know so…,” Matthew said.
“I would only be able to sleep if the engineers deemed it safe," said Ronan. "If they did not, I wouldn’t be able to. And before they did I wouldn’t be able to. Not after the fractures and the giant hole.”
Officials said they are concerned about the weather because rain could cause the sinkhole to grow larger.
The debris will be moved to another location where the homeowners may be able to recover some items, officials said.
Early Thursday, homeowner Michael Dupre said he heard what sounded like a sledgehammer pounding on a wall. By the time he got out of bed and looked out a window, a backroom of his home was collapsing into the earth.
As the day went on, most his home was swallowed by the sinkhole and his home and a neighboring home were condemned. The crater continued to grow throughout the day and into the evening, consuming more of Dupre's home.
"There was a sinkhole before and we knew there was sinkhole activity," Dupre said. "After the Seffner sinkhole, we were scared. We've been dealing with our insurance company and finally two days ago, they started working on our house. Now it looks like our home is gone."
Seven homes were evacuated Thursday during the ordeal. There were no injuries.
Sinkholes are common in Florida because the peninsula is made up of porous carbonate rocks such as limestone that store and help move water underground. Over time, the rocks can dissolve from an acid created from oxygen in water, creating a void under the limestone roof. When dirt, clay or sand gets too heavy for the limestone roof, it can collapse, creating a sinkhole.