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Another Florida sinkhole swallows boat and swimming pool, threatens homes

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By Elizabeth Chuck, Staff Writer, NBC News

(NBC) - Another large sinkhole has formed in Florida, causing parts of two homes to collapse and swallowing a boat and a backyard pool.

The sinkhole in Dunedin, FL, erupted early Thursday morning between the two houses, and by 8:30 a.m., had grown to a size of about 30 feet wide by 30 feet deep, Dunedin Fire Chief Jeff Parks said.

"There was apparently some work being done to try to fill in what they thought was a sinkhole beneath the house the last couple of days," Parks said. "The owner woke up this morning at 5:40 when he heard noises on his back porch and went out and found the sinkhole at that point."

A screened-in porch and a 14-foot-long boat at the homeowner's property had collapsed into the hole, and next door, the master bedroom and a swimming pool had gone in.

There were no injuries, Parks said.

Six homes in Dunedin — a city on central Florida's west coast — were evacuated, and power and utility lines were cut after officials arrived on the scene of the growing sinkhole.

"We don't have any type of equipment. We're waiting to see what the engineering company that was working on the house suggests. At this point, it's more of a wait-and-see type of thing," Park said.

Sinkholes are relatively common in Florida, but do not always cause major disruption or injuries. In March, a Seffner, FL, man was killed when a massive sinkhole opened up underneath his family's home.

The death of the Seffner man had prompted one of the homeowners affected by Thursday's sinkhole to hire a sinkhole prevention company to do work on his house.

Engineers had been pouring grout into the house's foundation for the past two days, Michael Dupre told BayNews9.com in Florida.

"There was a sinkhole before and we knew there was sinkhole activity," Dupre told BayNews9.com.

"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."

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