Families returned home Monday after a massive sinkhole threatened their homes in Dunedin.
The sinkhole opened last week off Robmar Road, causing evacuation of seven homes. Some of those homeowners said they're going back to their houses with a lot of uneasiness.
"I keep saying, 'surreal' and I feel silly because it's the only thing I can come up with. It's almost like a bad dream," said Matthew Tegerdine, who lives next door to the house where the sinkhole began. "I guess it's good that I can get back inside, at least, and try to get some normalcy."
City crews spent days tearing down two homes that were partially swallowed by the crater, then filling the hole with dirt.
Benjamin Breedlove lives on one side of it and wasn't sure he'd have a home to come back to; firefighters saw cracks forming in his walls as the sinkhole spread Thursday.
"At the speed it escalated after their pool collapsed, our neighbor's pool, we didn't think we were going to have a home anymore. We thought it was going to go," Breedlove said, adding he's glad he can go home but is a little nervous about it. "There will probably be some nights with little or no sleep.
While two homes were condemned, the remaining families received clearance to re-enter their properties. City engineers said filling the hole with dirt provided support and stability.
"We can provide the same assurance we could have last Wednesday," said Dunedin City Engineer Tom Burke. "There has been no movement in any of these buildings. No apparent change that would cause them to have concern about returning to the buildings."
Tegerdine said, despite all that was lost, his family is focused on not losing its peace of mind.
"You got to press through," he said. "Things are going to be okay, you just got to keep pushing through."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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