Stephens Co. Native Near Florida Resort Sinkhole

A Stephens County resident and members of his family wake up in Florida to find that they were near a sinkhole that swallowed one of the buildings in their resort complex.

Courtesy: Jimmy and Sheila Hopkins

Courtesy: Jimmy and Sheila Hopkins

Jimmy Hopkins and family members were in Clermont, Florida this week when a 100-foot sinkhole swallowed a building in the Summer Bay Resort and endangered two neighboring buildings.

Hopkins said he and his family members were a few buildings away from the building swallowed by the sinkhole Sunday night.

He said they lost power after going to bed Sunday night, but did not know anything might be out of the ordinary until Monday morning when they got an e-mail from someone in Toccoa about the sinkhole.

“(My wife) got the message and read it to me and we said ‘Man, could it be here because we do not have any power?’,” said Hopkins.  “About that time, the concierge that checked us in called and checked on us.  We told him we were fine and he explained to us what happened.”

Hopkins said they drove down to the sinkhole and saw the extensive damage firsthand.

He said he thinks it could have been a lot worse, however.

“That whole unit is a total loss,” said Hopkins.  “People were very fortunate they got out without being hurt.”

Hopkins credited the resort staff for making sure that everyone inside that building was evacuated safely.

“Some of the people woke up from their windows and walls making funny sounds, bumping sounds, or settling sounds,” said Hopkins.  “They called somebody and the resort people got out there and they immediately started evacuating people.”

Hopkins called the whole course of events “a pretty interesting day.”