Water-Related News

Lakeland sinkhole off Scott Lake Road ‘active but stable,’ difficult to predict future

LAKELAND — A sinkhole just west of Scott Lake Road in Lakeland is "active but stable" as of Monday [9/11/23] afternoon, according to Polk County officials.

A substantial depression formed west of Scott Lake Road south of Fitzgerald on Friday afternoon is being monitored by Polk County, spokesman Jeff Foley said. It measured to be roughly 75 feet wide by 25 feet deep Friday afternoon and no updated measurements are available.

It is the second sinkhole to open up within three months on property owned by Acres at Scott Lake LLC and Lakeland residents Debra and Joseph Kedzuf, according to SunBiz.org. Both holes have appeared in what's marked as a future retention pond in site plans on file with the county.

It's unclear whether the second sinkhole will trigger officials to re-evaluate the developer's plans and permit for a retention pond.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District was notified of the sinkhole Friday afternoon and has personnel on site to assess the site and assess the impacts, spokesperson Susanna Martinez Tarokh wrote in an emailed statement.

"The District’s role is to assess how the sinkhole is affecting the nearby stormwater pond and to determine if corrective action is needed for the stormwater pond," she wrote. "Our staff indicated that the property owner was on site and had planned to start backfilling the sinkhole over the weekend, if the sinkhole activity had stabilized."

The state's compliance regulation staff did not have any updates on Monday, according to Tarokh, other than the water levels in the lake have remained stable since the Aug. 21 heavy rain event.