BROOKSVILLE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given the all-clear to residents who live in Brookridge and the Sunshine Grove Road area who feared there were unexploded munitions underground.
But, just the same, the Corps advises people to be cautious when digging around.
The agency sent letters to all affected residents whose property was within the boundaries of the old 10,200-acre Brooksville Turret Gunnery Range used by the Department of Defense for training and storage-disposal of munitions during World War II.
Corps workers last year performed magnetometer and geophysical surveys on the properties to detect metal objects, including possible military ordnance, in the soil. Using state-of-the-art equipment, they were unable to find anything dangerous.
Francisco Araico, project manager with the agency, said in the letter that no technology is 100 percent effective and that geophysical surveys cannot be done under existing structures, such as homes.
"Anyone digging on the property should be cautious and if munitions or suspicious items are discovered, follow the three R's: Recognize, Retreat and Report," Araico said. "Recognize the item could be dangerous. Retreat - do not move or touch the object but note its location. Report what you found to local law enforcement by dialing 911."
After the gunnery range was shut down, the areas were developed with homes, schools and businesses. The site encompasses the area south of Centralia Road, north of State Road 50, east of Melanie Avenue and west of Citrus Way.
Brookridge resident Janet McGibbon, a resident of Brookridge since 2005, said she wasn't worried.
"I guess I'm the kind of person where I don't worry about it," she said. "I don't think they would have built homes in here if they had not done a lot of research in the first place."
McGibbon said it was nice to know nothing was found. However, she never saw anyone on her property and she seldom leaves. If they came, they must have done so in the middle of the night, she joked.