A giant sinkhole slowly expanded and filled with water as officials stood vigil over the yawning crater that swallowed a three-bedroom house, a camper and several cars, wrecked a swimming pool, damaged several buildings and threatened a main thoroughfare.
"It has slowed down, but it hasn't quit," said Winter Park Fire Capt. Gus LaGarde.
"Fortunately, it hasn't taken any more buildings. There's quite a bit of open area around there. There's a couple good-sized baseball fields nearby. We wish it would go in that direction if it's going anyplace."
The crater grew by eight to 10 feet today and was filling with water, authorities said.
Officials estimated that the sinkhole, which developed Friday night and opened rapidly Saturday, was more than 1,000 feet in diameter and 170 feet deep today.
Mae Rose Owens, 67, said she looked out the window of her home Friday night "and all of a sudden the earth just opened up. Ploop, down this tree went. I couldn't believe it -- a big old tree had gone down in the earth."
In addition to gulping the home, camper and six expensive foreign cars on a car lot, the sinkhole wrecked the city's $150,000 municipal swimming pool and damaged several commercial buildings, including an automobile agency and a printing firm. No injuries were reported.
A state geologist told Winter Park officials that after the bottom stops falling, the sinkhole probably would grow another 25 or 30 feet, until the slope is gradual enough that the sides aren't inconstant danger of collapsing, LaGarde said.
Residents and owners of nearby homes and businesses were warned Saturday to leave until the sinkhole stops growing. Some people rented trucks and begin moving furniture and other property.
A fire department official said no more buildings were in immediate danger of collapse and that officials in this central Florida city of 22,000 were waiting for the situation to stabilize.
Sinkholes, a not uncommon phenomenon in Central and North Florida, often result when underground water tables are lowered and the ground above becomes too weak to support itself.
They are most likely to occur during weather such as Florida's current severe dry season as limestone bedrock creates underground cavities.
This was the most damaging of four sinkholes reported in Central Florida in the last two weeks.
A 36-foot section of State Road 540 near the entrance of Cypress Gardens, a major tourist attraction in western Central Florida, dropped one or two feet April 27.
Shortly afterward, a sinkhole about 200 feet wide by 60 feet deep formed nearby on the shoulder of a four-lane highway and, on April 28, a sinkhole 150 feet wide and 30 feet deep opened in a orange grove in Bartow, swallowing fruit trees and two cars.