DELAND, Fla. (WFTV) -- The owner of a building in downtown DeLand is worried a sinkhole may swallow his business.
Tony's Pizza New York Avenue is being held by stilts. The floor is cracking. The building also houses other businesses.
Crews are working to pump concrete under the building to keep it stable. They said the drilling is a long process, but it could save the building.
Owner Johnny Kadrio said sinkhole activity is happening under the structure. He believes it began last year when the state dug deep wells across the street to test soil samples. He said the drilling loosened sand under his foundation which he said caused the problems.
"We've had major cracks in the building, our floors buckled and not only that we lost business because we people hear about that and they get scared," said owner Ashley Braddock of Pigtails Hair Salon. Crews are trying to fix it by drilling deep holes into the ground and pouring in grout to stabilize it. Next, they will jack up the building in order to keep it level and standing.
Last year the street next to the building had the same problem and the city ripped it up. Kadrio said his insurance company didn't want to pay for the repair cost, so he hired a lawyer and they eventually settled for around $300,000. Kadrio said his insurance then dropped him and he's had a hard time finding another. The work is expected to be complete in a few weeks. Those who work in the building on New York Avenue said they can't wait.
"We just want our business back and people to feel at ease when they walk into the salon," Braddock said.
The jacks go down as deep as 86 feet and will be in place permanently.
If a problem arises again, they will be able to adjust them to help keep the building standing.