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Cracks forming near the Oxford sinkhole have officials worried

Click to play video: 'Officials worry about effect of heavy rains on Oxford sinkhole' Officials worry about effect of heavy rains on Oxford sinkhole
WATCH: The sinkhole in Oxford, N.S., has not grown since last week but officials are worried that may change with heavy rains now in the area. Add to concern are new crack that are appearing in the pavement – some of which are close to a nearby road – Sep 11, 2018

The sinkhole is staying put, at least for now.

As of Tuesday the sinkhole in Oxford, N.S., remains the same dimensions as it was on Friday: 32.6 metres by 38.7 metres.

Amy Tizzard, a geologist with the Department of Energy and Mines, says that while parts of the hole continue to erode and fall in, it’s not really growing, just rounding out.

“The sinkhole has remained at the overall dimensions that it’s been for the last week and material still continues to erode off the edges, although it’s more rounding out than growing in diameter at the moment,” she said.

WATCH: Oxford sinkhole remains the same size but concerns linger

Click to play video: 'Oxford sinkhole remains the same size but concerns linger' Oxford sinkhole remains the same size but concerns linger
Oxford sinkhole remains the same size but concerns linger – Sep 4, 2018

More worrying than the continued erosion at the mouth of the sinkhole are the cracks forming in the parking lot of the park. One of the more recent cracks is 44 metres away from the mouth of the sinkhole and only 22 metres from the shoulder of the road and one of the largest cracks extends ten feet from the edge of the sinkhole into the parking lot.

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Tizzard says that she’s not sure what exactly is causing the cracks.

“Yesterday we noticed some new cracks that have formed closer to the road than they are to the sinkhole and the cause of those cracks is yet to be determined. We need to do more investigation to figure out what caused those,” Tizzard said.

Tizzard added that with the heavy rains falling on Tuesday and forecast for the rest of the week that the cracks could continue to grow. Last week rain caused one crack to extend by two feet, she said.

While the cause of the cracks cannot be identified right now, the Town of Oxford is taking no chances.

READ MORE: Oxford sinkhole has stopped growing for the first time since July: officials

On Monday a release was issued asking the public to consider exploring alternate routes to get to the Trans-Canada Highway to avoid the site of the sinkhole on Main Street in case the road needs to be shut down if conditions worsen.

“We’re not closing the road as per yet,” said Linda Cloney, Deputy Clerk for the Town of Oxford.

“In the case that that may happen we’re looking at future what-[ifs]. So that’s what we’re considering, for people to think of other routes, what they may need to do to get to work and things like that.”
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READ MORE: ‘Unpredictable’ sinkhole in Oxford, N.S., continues to grow, reaches pavement

The unpredictability of the sinkhole means that the future of the park is uncertain.

“Well we really don’t know,” said Cloney. “It’s unstable right at this point and until we know if it’s stable or safe … is it going to be safe again to use? We don’t know until we have further information on that.”

For now the park remains closed and is surrounded by security fencing. Cloney is asking any would-be onlookers to steer clear of the park for their own safety.

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