Sinkhole still a dangerous place
People trying to get by safety fence for a closer look
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.
Sinkhole in Oxford still causing a fair amount of curiosity from people wanting a closer look at the still dangerous situation.