Residents forced to evacuate after sinkhole opens up at Altamonte Springs condo complex

Crews are working to fill a sinkhole at the Royal Arms Condominiums in Altamonte Springs.

"It's not right next to the building we stay in, but sinkholes in Florida, anything could happen,” resident Fabian Festa said.

The hole formed on the edge of one of the buildings. Sixteen condos had to be evacuated.

"Today, we just came back to look at the situation, but not much information for now,” resident Halina Adamiak said.

People who live there do not know how long they’ll be out of their homes.

“If we, God forbid, lose anything, it would be like our lives lost because everything we own is in this condo,” Adamiak said.

Crews began filling the hole with dirt Wednesday afternoon.

"There's ancient sinkholes that are in this area and when they did develop and kind of rearrange the land a little bit, they did build some of these buildings on top of those paleo features,” structural engineer Byron Anderson said.

Anderson said this is the first step in fixing the problem.


"Ultimately, there will be some amount of underpinning or steel piles that are put underneath the structure in combination with some deeper compaction grouting, where the grouting is actually the process that stabilizes the land,” Anderson said.

Anderson said once the building is stabilized and deemed safe, people who live there will be able to move back in.

"This is a dramatic event for the residents that live here and the community, but for us professionals that have been dealing with sinkholes for many, many years, I wouldn't say it is routine, but we have the process down,” Anderson said.

Several of the people who have been evacuated are being assisted by the Red Cross.