ALBION, N.Y. (WIVB) - Emergency crews worked around the clock to patch up a giant hole in the Erie Canal in Orleans County.
Crews got things under control on Tuesday, but Monday night it was a fluid situation in Albion - to say the least. Water seepage led to a sink hole and now a portion of the road remains closed.
Kevin Lake watched the repair work from a bridge overlooking the canal on Tuesday. But Monday night he got quite a scare from a police officer knocking on his door.
"He said, 'Man, there's a hole in it. I don't know how fast it's going to go, and what's going to happen.' He said, 'In the last hour, we lost six inches of water. You might want to get your boat out right away,'" recalled Lake.
A section of Albion Eagle Harbor Road was washed away by the time News 4 cameras arrived.
Orleans County Administrator Chuck Nesbitt said, "By the time I got here, it grew into what you saw when you got here which was a very large hole about 16 feet deep and full of water. And we were very concerned that the canal wall was going to give way. And we were going to get a lot of water going toward the women's prison."
Water seeping from the canal created the large sink hole. State Canal Corporation officials say 30 feet of the road settled and that the initial sink hole itself was about six to seven feet in diameter, but continued to expand.
"Water was seeping through the embankment. It was pulling fine material with it which creates voids, and then the material on top of those voids eventually collapses in and causes a sink hole," explained Joe Savoie of the State Canal Corporation.
Work crews quickly hauled in stone to fill the hole and stop the leak. But why did water seep through in the first place? Canal corporation officials are still trying to determine that.
Savoie said, "We do have a contract that's ongoing to extend the culvert that goes under the canal right here at this location. But that's not connected with what happened. The seepage is a separate incident."
Meanwhile, guard gates on the canal, which prevent water from flowing, about ten miles of water are down.
"The road's going to be closed for a period of time until it can be reconstructed," Nesbitt said.
Savoie says the road, which runs between Gaines Basin Road and West State Street, could be closed a couple of weeks. For now there's a temporary fix in place.
Cold and breezy with snow increasing in coverage into the overnight hours.
A jury has convicted 16-year-old Dylan Schumaker of second degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's young son.
A Salamanca man has been charged with DWI after a traffic accident in the Town of Little Valley Saturday.
America's oldest state park is in the midst of a major makeover and officials are giving a clearer picture of what's next for Niagara Falls.
A second arrest has now been made in connection to a suspected meth lab on Saunders Settlement Road in Cambria.
A former doctor from Youngstown who admitted obtaining prescription pills through fraud will surrender his medical license.