DeLand neighborhood watches large washout expand, creeping closer to homes

People in a DeLand, Florida neighborhood are watching the land behind their homes get washed away.

They said it started years ago but has become a major problem, making them worry about their property.

"The hole kept getting bigger and bigger," said Joyce Graney who lives by the growing washout. "As you can see, it’s coming up closer to our house now."

People who bought their homes brand new have watched the giant hole form from the start. Photos show the progression, with the first serious damage starting in early 2021.

"Mainly my concern has been the safety of dogs or children chasing dogs back there, it’s a pretty good drop off, and it’s been growing and growing," said Dave Ruge, another neighbor. "Nothing’s been done about it."

The washout has only gotten wider, with trees now falling in. You can see the remnants of the concrete structure and the plastic tube water would run through, draining out of the community.

"I’m honestly worried that we’re going to lose the value of our house if it comes any closer, and we start getting cracks in the house," Graney said.

"It’s HOA property, so they’re supposed to maintain it," Ruge said. "And they used to mow it, but the grass is all fallen in now, so it’s gone."

FOX 35 News called the Saddlebrook homeowners association and was told it keeps residents informed, and they didn't want to comment on the washout. However, residents said they have been in the dark about what's being done.

"Fix it, please!" Graney said. "So we can rest assured that our house is not going to go into a sinkhole."

The HOA filed a lawsuit against the builder of the development over this issue and others, but court records show the case was resolved and dismissed last Fall.