Sink­hole still a dan­ger­ous place

Peo­ple try­ing to get by safety fence for a closer look

The Amherst News - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY DAR­RELL COLE AMHERST NEWS dar­rell.cole@amher­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

Ox­ford’s sink­hole may have slowed down, but the prov­ince’s re­gional ge­ol­o­gist says it’s still a very dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion.

“It’s still very un­pre­dictable and still very dan­ger­ous. That’s some­thing we can’t stress enough to peo­ple,” Amy Tiz­zard with En­ergy and Mines Nova Sco­tia re­cently said. “It’s def­i­nitely calmer than it’s been, but I would not say it’s com­plete. It’s too early to tell.”

Last week, the town’s pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, Linda Cloney, is­sued a press re­lease say­ing the di­men­sions of the sink hole have re­mained the same (at press time) at 32.6 me­tres by 38.7 me­tres with some round­ing off of the cor­ners due to mi­nor mud­slides.

Mi­nor cracks are con­tin­u­ing to de­velop in the park­ing lot and are be­ing mon­i­tored very closely.

Still, Tiz­zard warned, the sit­u­a­tion could be far from over.

“We saw a four-foot chunk go in where there were no cracks, so it’s some­thing peo­ple should be aware of,” she said. “We still have peo­ple try­ing to get by the fence and we have to con­stantly re­mind peo­ple this is a dan­ger­ous place right now. The prop­erty is very un­sta­ble and un­pre­dictable. There are still grow­ing cracks in the pave­ment so there’s no telling how much more it could go. Peo­ple need to heed the warn­ings.”

Part of the is­sue is there is no way of know­ing what’s tak­ing place un­der­ground. The prov­ince has asked the fed­eral govern­ment for some as­sis­tance and some geo­phys­i­cal equip­ment is en route to the site.

“It will be one of sev­eral tools we’ll use to build a pic­ture of what’s go­ing on un­der­ground,” she said.

Don Christie, who man­ages the park for the Ox­ford and Area Lions Club, said the or­ga­ni­za­tion is still in a hold­ing pat­tern, but it’s fac­ing an un­cer­tain fu­ture since it has learned its in­sur­ance cov­er­age does not in­clude sub­si­dence.

The club was to meet on Sept. 10 – af­ter this pa­per’s dead­line - to con­sider its op­tions. He doesn’t want to think of the club’s demise, but is wor­ried with the de­clin­ing mem­ber­ship and this lat­est calamity that there are def­i­nitely con­cerns for its fu­ture.

“We’re kind of in over our heads when it comes to fi­nances right now,” Christie said. “We have no money for se­cu­rity, a fence or to re­place the play­ground. We’re broke, it’s kind of a sad sit­u­a­tion. It’s very dis­heart­en­ing and we’re very dis­cour­aged.”

He said the club is con­cerned it may never be able to use the park or its com­mu­nity cen­tre again, and the club was just about to head into its busiest pe­riod of book­ings with wed­ding re­cep­tions and other com­mu­nity func­tions.

The town’s fire de­part­ment has of­fered its build­ing to the Lions to host some of those events, but it’s not nearly as large as the Lions build­ing.

FILE PHOTO

Sink­hole in Ox­ford still caus­ing a fair amount of cu­rios­ity from peo­ple want­ing a closer look at the still dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion.

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