Officials monitoring massive sinkhole that continues to grow in N.S. town
On a busy road on the outskirts of the blueberry capital of Canada, a steady-stream of onlookers pass a park that's technically off-limits.
These days, it is the biggest show in town and a week after the ground opened up in the Oxford Lions Park, trees are still being swallowed whole.
New cracks are appearing in the asphalt parking lot faster than they can be marked and monitored.
Now filled with muddy water, no one has a clue how deep the hole is.
“No idea,” says Mike Johnson, the EMO co-ordinator for Cumberland County. “We really don’t have anyone able to suspend out there and find out. And we don't want to get close enough to the edge to even try and find out.”
The Lions scrambled Monday to remove playground equipment and other structures are starting to lean.
The hole is inching ever closer to the Lions club itself.
Sinkholes are hardly rare in Nova Scotia, but the growing size of this one has caught even locals off guard.
“Yeah, a little small hole beside a tree, that's where it started,” said landscaper Michael Herrett. “So, it's been going on for quite a while.”
All day long, people pause to get a look and security is now in place 24 hours a day after some snuck in at night.
Steffen Kaeubler and family, en route to P.E.I. from Halifax, stopped for a quick look at something they’ve never seen before.
“I've heard of sinkholes in the area because of gypsum, but never seen one myself,” Kaeubler said.
Eroded gypsum seems to be the best guess as to what’s going on, but officials say they’ll consult with experts about that.
In the meantime, there really isn’t much they can do.
“Mother Nature’s in charge, and when she finds balance in this equation, then she'll stop,” Johnson said. “So, in the meantime, we're monitoring, we're detailing every crack that opens up.”
The waiting game continues in oxford, as officials monitor the hole and wait for it to stop growing. In the meantime, security remains tight around here, and officials are now urging motorists to avoid the area if possible. Because of the spectacle, there’s been about a half dozen fender benders along the main road in to the park as people stop to rubberneck.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.