Gore Visits Storm Sinkhole, Promises More Federal Aid

Vice President Al Gore this morning inspected the Shoreline-area sinkhole created during last month's storms as part of a tour of weather damage in the West.

Gore, diverted from a morning tour of California flood sites because of fog there, arrived at the scene of the 100-foot-wide sinkhole in a deep ravine at Sixth Avenue Northwest and Northwest 175th Street about 10:30 a.m.

"I had seen that (sinkhole) on TV . . . but that does not prepare you for the impression you get when you are standing on the edge," Gore said later. Gore questioned Bob Geis, Shoreline city manager, about streets and the damage that continues as several drains pour water into the hole.

Chainsaws whined as they looked at the site where an automobile, pavement, trees and utility poles had tumbled into the hole.

Gore was accompanied on the tour by various officials including Gov. Mike Lowry, County Executive Gary Locke, Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton.

The vice president had been scheduled to see local damage via helicopter en route to Shoreline, but fog canceled the flight. Officials traveled from Boeing Field in a motorcade.

After examining charts detailing the terrain and damage location, Gore and his party went to a nearby fire station for a more complete briefing.

There, Gore promised to continue federal assistance.

After the briefing, Gore took off from Boeing Field to

inspect extensive flood and weather damage in Idaho and California. The Washington and the other states have asked for federal aid for the damage.