Crews Begin Removing Debris From Massive Sinkhole in La Habra Where Storm Drain Collapsed

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A sinkhole in La Habra is seen on Jan. 24, 2019, the day after it opened up between two rows of condominiums. (Credit: KTLA)

A sinkhole in La Habra is seen on Jan. 24, 2019, the day after it opened up between two rows of condominiums. (Credit: KTLA)

Orange County Public Works has begun removing debris where a storm drain collapsed between two buildings at a La Habra condominium complex — creating a massive sinkhole, officials said Tuesday.

A sidewalk path was broken in half and trees had fallen into the giant hole following the collapse of a private underground storm drain on the morning of Jan. 23. Nearly a week later, beginning about 7 a.m. on Tuesday, crews and equipment were being brought in to start working on the damaged area.

The sinkhole measures 100 feet long, 15 feet deep and about 20 feet wide, according to O.C. Public Works. It lies along a greenbelt area of the Coyote Village condominium community that’s located at 957 West Imperial Highway.

Officials are hoping to finish clearing debris from the area by the end of Wednesday but no definite timeline has been set.

A sinkhole is seen in La Habra on Jan. 24, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A sinkhole is seen in La Habra on Jan. 24, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Still, crews are working against the clock since rain is expected on Thursday and Saturday. Officials have said the sinkhole may have been caused, at least in part, by recent rains that saturated and weakened the ground.

Some of the debris needing to be removed is in sections of the private storm drain, sidewalk and turf, officials said. Other areas of the condo community need to be cleared as well.

The damaged drain is located immediately downstream from an open flood control located south of Imperial highway and operated by O.C. Public Works. The morning after the sinkhole appeared, officials were still working to determine who owns the drain so next steps could be taken in repairing the damage.

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