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New sinkholes open up across San Diego after recent rain

CBS 8 has spotted multiple sinkholes pop up overnight, including one in Scripps Ranch and another in Del Mar.

SAN DIEGO — Recent storms have brought substantial amounts of rain to San Diego, opening up new sinkholes across the county. That includes a large one spotted at Jerabek Park in Scripps Ranch.

“It’s massive, my goodness," said Nicole Koranda, who was walking her dog. "We walk here almost every day, so I’m glad nobody was hurt."

The sinkhole opened up Tuesday next to a staircase on the north end of the park near some homes.

“These are definitely dangerous conditions,” said Fernando España.

A storm drain sits above the sinkhole on a nearby cul-de-sac, and CBS 8 spotted a broken storm water pipe down below gushing water into the sinkhole.

“This might be a combination of engineering problems, cracked pipe leaking, water leaking," España said. "They say that’s a sinkhole and that means the water had to come in and the soil had to escape from somewhere."

Water continues to flow from the broken pipe, saturating the soil around it, which could weaken the ground supporting nearby eucalyptus trees. This could pose a heightened risk, especially for those using a nearby baseball field. 

“My son plays baseball right here and they’re tall enough to take that fence down,” Koranda said.

On Wednesday, another sinkhole opened up, this time on San Dieguito Drive in Del Mar next to the lagoon. A public works crew shut down one lane of traffic to assess the damage and protect drivers. 

A timeline for repairs has not been released yet.

Meanwhile, CBS 8 also checked on the massive sinkhole on Lake Drive in Cardiff that has been getting bigger with every passing rain storm. The most recent storm is complicating repair efforts. Crews have been working for weeks to repair it, but they had to take a pause during the rain.

“An old pipe in fill dirt... so you have weak earth and an old pipe that has failed,” said Pat Abbott, professor emeritus of geology at SDSU.  “This is 100% a human-made disaster. This has nothing to do with mother nature other than the fact that she has dropped a lot of rain.”

The City of Encinitas tells CBS 8 all the utilities have been successfully relocated. At this point, crews are focused on stabilizing the bottom of the sinkhole with rock and grout. 

Repair work will last through April because of all the rain.


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