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Crews Race To Shore Up La Habra Sinkhole Before New Storms Arrive

LA HABRA (CBSLA) — Public works crews worked furiously Wednesday to shore up a sinkhole that opened up in the middle of a La Habra condominium complex, ahead of a new round of storms this week.

The 100-foot-long, 15-foot deep sinkhole opened up just under a week ago in the Coyote Creek Neighborhood on Imperial Highway after a storm drain collapsed between two buildings. The sinkhole broke part of a sidewalk off and swallowed up grass and a few trees.

With several days of rain in the forecast, Orange County Public Works crews have been working late into the night, as homeowners and residents watch anxiously.

Many of the crews are working 12-hour shifts to help hasten the repair process.  Portable lights have also been brought in so crews can work long after the sun has gone down.

"I don't feel safe here until everything is fixed," homeowner Shahla Javadi said.

Her neighbor, Ashlee Escobar, is concerned that the work to shore up the hole could do more harm than help.

"I'm worried that whatever they're doing is going to end up damaging the actual structures, and compromising the structures," she said. "They say that we're secure for right now, but I don't know if anything they are going to do right now is going to hurt the houses."

The official cause of the sinkhole is not yet known, but some crews say the underground channel may not have been properly waterproofed and collapsed under the weight of too much dirt made heavier by recent heavy rainfall.

Whatever the cause, CBS2's Cristy Fajardo said residents have been dealing with construction noises and sporadic power outages.

A lot of the construction is happening just outside Reina Menchaca's front door.  Menchaca is aware the rain is coming.

"I have to get sandbags and put them by my door," she said. " I don't know how long it's going to take them to fix this."

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