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Sinkholes in Orange County, FL | Florida Sinkholes

Orange County, FL Sinkhole Map

Sinkhole Count: 206

Orange County, FL FAQs

Orange County FL

Orange County was established in 1845 when Florida was added to the United States. It was one of the 11 counties carved out of Florida’s historic Mosquito County that occupied most of the eastern part of the state. This county was named after the citrus groves that dominated in the area, and Orlando was made the Orange County seat which eventually emerged as the largest inland city of Florida.

Citrus production went off the limelight in Orange County when freezing temperatures during successive winters of 1985‒1986 all but wiped up the local groves. With the remote chance of recovery of citrus-growing and Florida’s rapid population growth, most of the county’s orange plantations were converted to housing developments.

Theme Parks: Boon for Home Markets

Real estate market opportunities and demand for more homes was likewise stimulated with Orange County becoming popular as host to many world-famous theme parks.  This immense popularity of the theme parks helped boost demand for homes not only in Orange but also in neighboring real estate markets as well. These theme parks, which draw young and old folks alike, include Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, and Walt Disney World.

The economic impact of these local tourist destinations could be best appreciated in Walt Disney World’s operations that encompass two cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, with their acreage and facilities in Orange County extending to Osceola County. The Florida state government, recognizing the importance of assets like Disney, created the Reed Creek Improvement District in 1967 to oversee services to the Walt Disney theme parks and resorts, as well as other local developments. It is likewise noteworthy that Walt Disney World is the largest single-site employer in the U.S., with its over 66,000 employees or “cast members” as the company calls them.

Sports, Shows and the UCF

Also a catalyst for Orange County and Orlando’s economy is the new Amway Center which opened in 2011, respectively. Home to the Orlando Magic of NBA fame, the Amway Center hosts premier sports and entertainment events including big concerts and shows. Orlando also boasts of the newly renovated Florida Citrus Bowl featuring major college football playoff games, and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts popular for its cultural shows.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando is another pillar of strength for Orange County. The second largest university in the U.S., UCF has an enrolment of over 58,000 students and initiated a Business Incubation Program in 1999.  This program has helped more than 300 startups that generated annual revenue of over $500 million and created 1,600 new jobs with $59,000 average annual salary.

The vibrant activity of the Orlando International Airport is one anecdotal evidence too of the robust real estate market in Orange County. This airport books more flights than any other Florida airport except Miami International.

With all these plus factors, demand is high for Orange County real estate, especially for those who want a secure investment. Furthermore, this county offers many incorporated and unincorporated towns, cities, and communities, as well as varying picks of residential styles ranging from single family homes and duplexes to condos and townhouses.

May 1981 – A sinkhole opened in Winter Park and gained international attention because of its size. Measuring 350 feet wide and 75 feet deep, the hole swallowed the home of resident Mae Rose Williams, a car dealership and five Porsches, portions of two streets, as well as the Olympic-sized swimming pool of the town. The total damages reached $4 million. According to geologist Jim Jammal, it is the largest sinkhole as a result of natural geological reasons or conditions.

June 2002 – A sinkhole measuring 150 feet wide and about 60 feet deep opened near the Woodhill Apartments in Orlando, Florida

May 2012 – Insurance agents have declared the Windermere home a complete loss where a massive sinkhole opened up in the back yard. The hole was estimated by some to be 100 feet wide and 50 feet deep.

June 2013 – A large sinkhole opened at a backyard in Winter Park and swallowed a swimming pool. The hole has a width of 50 feet and depth of 30 feet.

August 2013 – A sinkhole causes Orlando-area resort villa to partially collapse, parts of it swallowed by a 100-foot sinkhole that also endangered two neighboring resort buildings.

May 2015 – A large hole opened in a neighborhood in Apopka after a truck crashed into a fire hydrant.

October 2015 – Authorities have shut down an exit ramp from Interstate 4 in central Florida after a 15-foot wide sinkhole opened up during rush hour.

November 2016 – A Bright House cable truck driver accidentally drove into a large sinkhole that opened up in Orlando.

January 2017 – Possible sinkhole forces Winter Garden residents from home. A Winter Garden family was forced to evacuate their home after their floor buckled

April 2017 – Winter Garden residents concerned after sinkhole opens in neighborhood. The hole forced crews to shut down a road in the Orchard Hill subdivision on Cypress Hill Road

September 2017 – A large sinkhole formed behind Apopka Middle School. It swallowed a section of the West Orange Trail.

September 2017 – A sinkhole opened and swallowed a portion of West Kelly Park Road. The hole was 25 feet wide and 15 feet deep.

September 2017 – A few days later, another sinkhole opened and swallowed a portion of a home in Apopka. It had a depth of 30 feet and appeared about 100 feet away from a home.

March 2018 – A sinkhole that opened up near an Orange County home forced a family of six to evacuate, firefighters and deputies responded to the home on Harrington Drive. The hole was about 13 feet deep and 20 feet wide.

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