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DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - Residents of several Florida homes have been evacuated due to a possible sinkhole that opened behind a backyard near St. Petersburg.

Dunedin Deputy Fire Chief Trip Barrs told Bay News 9 (http://bit.ly/17s9SnH ) the hole appears to be about 12-feet wide and that homes on both sides of the sinkhole have been evacuated as a precaution. Part of a patio has caved in and a boat is on the edge of the hole. The television station reports a neighboring pool appears to be cracking.

Homeowner Michael Dupre said the family heard a noise that sounded like a sledgehammer pounding on the wall Thursday morning. He says he's been concerned about a sinkhole and that a sinkhole prevention company has been pouring grout into the home's foundation over the past two days.