A sinkhole has appeared in the La Jolla seawall, an area of San Diego that has already suffered a huge amount of rain and flooding devastation, and this could be the next huge problem for the residents of the area as it threatens to cut off the main gas line to the town.
On Thursday in the early hours of the morning, at around 5 am, the sinkhole began to develop with the flood waters pouring into it, exacerbating the problem greatly. These flood waters have been brought to the La Jolla area thanks to the El Niño effect, a weather system that is created every year thanks to the rapid cooling of the seas and oceans. This cooling produces pounding storms, pounding storms that have not let up in the La Jolla area for a while now.
Teams from both the local city official offices and the San Diego Gas & Electric have been working together to make sure that the residents of La Jolla do not lose access to their energy providers, but it has been a difficult fight as the sinkhole continues to increase in size, and the weather continues to get worse and worse. Many streets in the area are flooded badly with properties sustaining large amounts of damage, and flood warnings have been in place all week.
In fact, the National Weather Service has issued a warning about the San Diego River, saying that it is likely that it will flood in Fashion Valley. Those who are close to the coast are also being warned that flash floods could occur in that area as the storm moves closer and closer in.
The sinkhole currently remains controlled, but it is difficult to tell how long it will be before calm and order can be restored.
The seawall at La Jolla has been broken by some of the largest and strongest tides that have been seen in the area for decades, thanks to the ‘king tides’ that have been brought to the area over the last few days.
This has led to severe flooding in the parking lots and boardwalks just past the seawall, and there are fears that if the king tides continue to push their way up the coast, we could see a significant amount of damage to people’s homes and businesses unless control is taken back along the coastline.
The La Jolla lifeguards have been working around the clock to prevent the lifeguard station from being flooded, using as many sandbags as they can get their hands on in an attempt to stave off the flood waters that are rising higher and higher with each passing tide.
Although a large amount of damage has already occurred, the National Weather Service does not believe that this is the end of the troubles for the La Jolla area. In fact, it is believed that the flooding could get even worse in the next few days as these king tides continue to push inland through the seawall, and there are several flood warnings in place for some of the streets and buildings that are very close to the seawall itself.
This flood warning will expire and end at around 10 am Friday, when it is believed that the king tides will be over. This is the first time that a full moon has coincided with Christmas since 1977, and it will be 2034 before it happens again. It will then be up to the La Jolla community to assess the amount of damage that it has suffered, and to see just how much work needs to go into rebuilding the sea wall and other surrounding areas.
A special kind of tide called a king tide has struck La Jolla, breaking the sea wall and flooding key areas along the popular coastline.
This ‘king tide’ is a specific type of tide that is significantly higher than anything else that one would expect to see in the local area, and is almost uncontrollable due to the combination of strong currents and other weather patterns including over six inches of rain that fell in just one night, along with a large amount of snow that came across the mountains. The two feet of snow that fell in the Sierra mountains have also added to this king tide effect, and there is little that can be done to prevent it. Unusual though a king tide is, they do occur, and in this case the La Jolla community are the ones that have been hit and are suffering.
Thankfully the damage that was sustained along the La Jolla coastline was mainly parking lots, but those have been greatly damaged by the floods all the way along the coast, and many are expecting to engage in a big clean up operation as soon as the king tides have stopped. Thankfully there have been absolutely no reports of anyone being harmed, and so it is hoped that the king tide effect will be over before anyone is killed or injured by its devastating effects.
It is expected, however, that these king tides will continue to hit the coastline of La Jolla every morning until Friday. For this reason, there is currently a coastal flood advisory in place, although this is expected to end at around 10 am on Friday. King tides are a very unusual event so for many meteorologists this is an exciting time, but for the rest of the La Jolla residents, we are just waiting for it to be over.