Reports of the sink hole on Albina Street first emerged at around 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to Saanich Police. The surface of the hole is small at approximately 30 cm by 60 cm with a space under the surface that is several metres deep and wide. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

Saanich sinkhole one of several hazards that kept crews busy on ‘Snowmageddon Day 2’

Albina Street sinkhole reported Monday evening

Saanich crews continue to investigate the cause of a sink hole that opened Monday night. Crews closed road access in the Gorge-Tillicum area, as authorities everywhere continue to deal with the on-going effects of the current snow storm.

Reports of the sink hole on Albina Street first emerged at around 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to Saanich Police.

“We have secured the area and placed a large metal plate over the hole as a temporary safety measure,” said Kelsie McLeod, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich Tuesday morning. “The road has also been closed for safety reasons. It’s too early to say what caused the hole, but crews will investigate and we will provide more information when we can.”

The surface of the hole is small at approximately 30 cm by 60 cm. “However, the hole under the surface is several metres deep and wide,” said McLeod, adding that it is hard determine exact dimensions at this point.

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The sink hole was among several hazards that kept Saanich police and municipal crews as another snow storm walloped the region.

“There were a number of hazards that we dealt with over the night, including power [and] telephone lines down or hanging low, branches and trees down,” said Sgt. Julie Fast of the Saanich Police.

“There were also a number of vehicles that got stuck that required tows,” she said. “Even some of the bigger vehicles on the roads are having troubling, including buses, and snow plows.”

Cst. Matthew Rutherford of the Victoria Police Department did not report any notable collision stemming from Monday’s snow storm. “But we’re encouraging anybody that doesn’t need to be on the roads to stay off the roads,” he said. “If you do have to venture out, make sure you leave enough distance with the vehicle in front of you, clear your vehicle off of snow and make sure you have appropriate tires.”

Cpl. Chris Manseau of the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP made a similiar appeal in reporting a decrease in collisions on Monday, when compared to Sunday.

“Yesterday [Monday] was another days of vehicles in ditches and poor road conditions due to weather; however, because of the advance notice and the fact it was Day 2 of Snowmageddon, there were significantly less collisions,” he said. “With so many businesses closed, we expect fewer people on the roads allowing clearing crews an easier time plowing. With snow still falling and more expected, we are still suggesting to people to be careful, only go out if essential.”

He said drivers should not over-estimate their driving abilities or the abilities of their vehicles if they are not familiar with winter conditions, and lack appropriate winter tires.

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This map shows the location of a sinkhole that opened up Monday night near Gorge Road in Saanich. Crews continue to investigate the cause. (Google Maps)

Reports of the sink hole on Albina Street first emerged at around 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to Saanich Police. The surface of the hole is small at approximately 30 cm by 60 cm with a space under the surface that is several metres deep and wide. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

Reports of the sink hole on Albina Street first emerged at around 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to Saanich Police. The surface of the hole is small at approximately 30 cm by 60 cm with a space under the surface that is several metres deep and wide. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

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