High River sinkhole raises post-flood structural worries

A steadily widening sinkhole in High River has officials worried as the southern Alberta town continues to rebuild after last summer’s disastrous flooding.

Hole growing underneath downtown building vacant since June disaster

A growing sinkhole at a building in downtown High River has town officials concerned. (CBC)

A steadily widening sinkhole in High River has officials worried as the southern Alberta town continues to rebuild after last summer’s disastrous flooding. 

The hole is growing under an old downtown building at First Street and Third Avenue that has been vacant since it was flooded last June.

"The foundation, we're concerned about how stable it is, and have cordoned it off for a precautionary measure,” said Reiley McKerracher, the town's manager of renewal operations.

"Worst case is that the building would come down. I don't think it's anywhere near that at this point."

But former High River mayor Eldon Couey says long existing weak spots in the area were made worse by the flood.

"These places built long ago, no proper foundation, and so they just have to go, and the sinkhole happens to be under one of them,” he said.

An engineer has assessed the damage and is now putting together a report for council, which will then decide whether the building can be saved.

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