Massive Sink Hole Caused by Storm Closes Oakland Zoo
By Tony Hicks, Bay City News Foundation
Storm damage has closed the Oakland Zoo until at least Jan. 17, zoo officials said Sunday.
A major sinkhole caused by a collapsed culvert under the vehicle entrance to the zoo at Golf Links Road opened during the weekend storm. The zoo said the culvert, overburdened by the historic and unprecedented amount of rainfall throughout the region the past week, connects Arroyo Viejo Creek under the entry road to the Zoo.
The sinkhole is approximately 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep and is impassable to vehicles, prohibiting guests from entering the zoo. The zoo tweeted Sunday that engineers examined the site Saturday and said, with the additional rain expected in the next several days, the sinkhole could worsen. Zoo officials are working with a local company specializing in engineering, design and construction to repair the sinkhole as soon as possible. Engineers told the zoo it could take two weeks or more for materials to arrive and the work to be completed.
Officials said the volume and velocity of the water flowing across zoo grounds has caused “incredible” soil erosion, eucalyptus trees to fall, flooding in various buildings, and overwhelmed drainage systems. The zoo also experienced power outages. The zoo said its animals are “fine and remained safe during the extreme weather. While closed, zoo staff will continue to be onsite to take care of the animals, provide maintenance needs, and conduct clean-ups from damage caused by the rain.”
Officials said people with reservations for the zoo or to attend Glowfari between now and Jan. 17 will receive an email about a refund. “We are looking into the possibility of extending Glowfari and will announce soon. We thank you for your patience,” the zoo tweeted.
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