In 1981 during an extended period of unusually dry weather, a giant sinkhole opened in Winter Park Florida swallowing up five Porsches, a pickup truck, the Winter Park municipal pool, Mae Rose Williams’ home, and large portions of Denning Drive. The 90’ deep sinkhole was a big problem for the City of Winter Park, property owners, and insurance companies causing over four million dollars in damage.
The attention Winter Park received from this historic spectacle didn’t stop in Florida. The sinkhole damage created an international sensation due to its size and proximity to dense population. The attention included international news agencies, T-Shirt vendors, food trucks, and circus-like energy. The Winter Park Sinkhole was even a tourist destination for a number of years after the initial collapse.
Eventually, sinkhole experts along with Winter Park city workers were able to plug the hole with dirt and concrete and the hole was eventually stabilized.
Today Lake Rose (named after the homeowner who lost her home to the sinkhole) resembles a small, tree-lined fishing pond, and life goes on around Winter Park as if nothing had ever happened.