Waterline rupture causes hole between condominiums in Iona and causes evacuations




A broken water line for the fire department caused a hole to open and evacuate two buildings in the Iona area south of Fort Myers.

The hole is in the driveway of a condominium near Portside Drive at Harbor Isle Yacht & Racquet Club.

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the buildings were evacuated. A fire marshal determined that the shattered fire waterline caused the hole, but is still in use. Home inspectors, contractors and engineers are busy repairing the line itself. They will also determine when it is safe for everyone to return home. Experts are not sure exactly what caused this big hole to open.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, one of the evacuated buildings was cleared by the building inspector to let residents go inside. However, there is currently no schedule for the return of residents of the second building.

From above, from above, Harbor Isle Estates looks like any normal day. But, if you look a little closer, you will see a hole. Bob Henley lives in Harbor Isle. “I just think. I have no idea how dangerous it is, they won’t let me go there, I think it must be so bad, ”said Henley.

Gary Haas also lives in the neighborhood. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I hope there aren’t sinkholes everywhere,’” Haas said.

Barbara Curcio lives in the neighborhood received a text message on the hole. “I actually got a text,” Curcio said. “Holy chasm” so I called him and told him not to do this to me? What do you mean by “holy chasm?”

Turns out that hole that partially swallowed the little white car wasn’t a sinkhole. Instead, a break in the line of fire caused the road to collapse and forced firefighters to evacuate these two buildings.

Bob says he was worried about the other residents because of their age. “They evacuated everyone from the two buildings. I saw friends in wheelchairs and so on because it’s kind of a group of old people, ”said Henley. It was difficult for them to evacuate in the first place.

The WINK News drone was able to spot the empty, watery, sandy hole from the air.

A home inspector will determine when residents can return after making sure the buildings are structurally sound. Because, experts say there is no need to rush. The home inspector wants to make sure the condo is absolutely safe before letting the neighbors in.

WINK News spoke to Eddie Web of CT Fire Protection and asked him what could have caused this hole to appear. “Depending on the age of the underground pipe system, it could be dirt displacement or something like that. This usually happens when the ground is saturated with water from a leak that has been happening for some time and the dirt is simply washed away and dissolved into the water table, ”Webb said.

Webb says that in Florida, the pipes are built near the water table because of the shallow soil. He thinks the repair will be simple, but not cheap.

Some may wonder how long he’s been there. “It would take a little while for the water and so much dirt to have a car to sit inside,” Webb said. “It doesn’t happen a lot. Usually, systems that are installed underground last a very long time and rarely fail that would cause a sinkhole.

A Lee Tran bus was provided for an air-conditioned shelter for the displaced people. This bus has since left the scene.

No injuries were reported.

The white Toyota has been towed since morning.

Locals say they immediately think back to what happened in Surfside earlier this year. But nothing on this scale is happening at Harbor Isle Estates.

A neighbor says his friends who remain displaced have planned to stay with their friends or family while they wait.

The home inspector, other experts, and even Webb want to encourage everyone who lives in the building not to worry. Webb says he’s been working on fir lines for 25 years and it’s only the second he’s seen fail.


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