Mother describes hardship after sinkhole-related evacuation

By Stephanie Bechara, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, December 19, 2016, 11:07 AM EST

A sinkhole that opened up at a complex near Walt Disney World continues to be a problem for many. Several families are having to walk away from their homes without knowing when or if they can ever return.

"This has just been a nightmare," said Caryl Carlini. Carlini and her two kids are among several families who were forced to evacuate due to a sinkhole that opened up more than a week ago at Bahama Bay II in Kissimmee.

"It's just scary because Thursday night I was sitting on my couch and I thought people were slamming doors just like everybody else thought and it was the foundation cracking, I later learned,” stated Carlini. “We could have been in there and the whole building could have been gone in there with us."

They had no choice but to sleep at a friend’s home, a temporary solution to their predicament. Her condo is now empty as she's not allowed to live in it. Carlini said it wasn't easy, but she managed to get her belongings out of there. A truck rental and storage unit were costs she wasn't expecting to deal with.

Her family's everyday essentials and valuables, like her grandmother's picture, are now all crammed in her vehicle.

"All I kept thinking was this picture is going to go down in the sinkhole," Carlini added.

In a letter obtained by News 13 sent out to tenants, the Bahama Bay II Condominium Association said it hired Geohazards for an evaluation.

The letter reads: "The Association, its insurance carrier and Geohazards are working to remedy the impacted building to have the displaced families back in their homes as soon as practicable."

Carlini said this evacuation should have been handled differently by management. She was hoping for more communication or financial support during this abrupt transition.

"It's Christmas ... we don't have a place to live," she said.

All Carlini wants this holiday season is a place of her own that she can call home.

News 13 reached out to Bahama Bay II and First Service Residential a number of times, but received no official comment.

For anyone who wishes to lend a hand, the Carlinis have set up a GoFundMe account, you can find more information here.

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