Los Angeles Times

Sinkhole in Laguna Beach eats SUV, ruptures gas line

Broken water main causes crater, forcing some residents to evacuate their homes.

- By Andrew Turner Turner writes for Times Community News.

Some residents in Laguna Beach were forced to evacuate their homes this week after a broken water main opened a sinkhole and caused a gas leak, authoritie­s said.

Laguna Beach fire and police personnel were sent to the area of 10th and Sunset avenues about 7:30 a.m. Sunday in response to reports of a substantia­l amount of water rushing between homes onto South Coast Highway.

Authoritie­s arrived to find that a Range Rover parked on Sunset Avenue had fallen through a sinkhole and a gas line beneath the road had ruptured.

Residents of several homes on Sunset Avenue and Virginia Way were evacuated while crews worked to stop the gas leak. Residents were able to return to their homes later Sunday morning, officials said.

No injuries were reported.

“We still have geologists in the area investigat­ing,” said Sheena Johnson, a spokeswoma­n for the South Coast Water District. “There’s been a lot of rain, a lot of saturation in that area on that hillside. We’re looking at actually what the cause was” of the water main break.

Crews from the Laguna Beach Public Works Department, South Coast Water District and Southern California Gas Co. worked to clean up the neighborho­od and restore utility services. Approximat­ely 100,000 gallons of water was lost due to the water main break, Johnson said.

Johnson said the Range Rover was extracted from the sinkhole by 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

“By that time, our staff and our operations were able to get in there and try to ascertain what was going on. We realized we also needed geologists to come out and take a look at the area to see what happened. … There were seven homes that we had to shut off the water to, and so we restored their water by 2:30 p.m. [Sunday] with a temporary water service,” Johnson said.

“Obviously, since that pipe is no longer connected, they don’t have their typical water service, so we had to do a workaround to make sure all those homes had water and gas service,” she said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States