May 30, 2017 9:52 pm
Updated: May 31, 2017 3:37 pm

Sinkhole closes Highway 97 at Vernon

A 40-foot deep sinkhole has Highway 97 near Vernon closed this morning. Officials believe Vernon Creek, which runs beside the road, may have caused the collapse.

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UPDATE: DriveBC says the highway is open with a single lane in both directions.

Highway 97 has been shut down at the bottom of Vernon’s Hospital Hill until further notice.

A sinkhole has opened up in the northbound lanes near the entrance to Polson Park.

The southbound lanes were shutdown as a precaution, as Vernon Creek flows under all four lanes.

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Captain Reinhard Mann from Vernon Fire Rescue said the hole under the pavement is larger than can be seen at pavement level.

“The ground has been undermined right next to the creek culvert, and right now the hole underground is about 12 feet by 40 feet,” Mann said.

Mann says a hole about four feet in diameter was visible on the surface.

He says there were no injuries from the incident.

“I’m surprised there isn’t a vehicle there because it’s a big hole.”

Emergency officials have been detouring vehicles around the site, using 34 Street, Mission Road and College Way through Coldstream.

Mann expected the highway to be closed most of the night.

“Until they can get engineers to assess the southbound lanes to make sure they’re safe, they will be staying closed,” Mann said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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