A sinkhole near the seawall in La Jolla Shores, a neighborhood in San Diego, began to develop around 5 a.m., local time, Thursday, amid flooding brought by pounding storms attributed to the weather phenomenon El Niño. City officials and crews from San Diego Gas & Electric worked quickly, trying to make sure a gas line beneath the sinkhole remained intact, KGTV, San Diego, reported.
In a video, even in the pre-dawn darkness, a street appeared visibly flooded. You can watch the video of the sinkhole and flooding below.
Storm and flash flood warnings have been in effect in parts of San Diego County this week. The San Diego River near Fashion Valley could flood Thursday, the National Weather Service warned. It also issued a high surf warning for the coast, where nearby areas also had a flash flood warnings. The worst of the storm was forecast to pass by noon Thursday, but another storm was due to arrive Saturday.
Earlier in the week, storms made even stronger by El Niño ravaged parts of San Diego County, damaging roads and trees and forcing rescues of people from homes and cars alike. KNSD, San Diego, reported the sinkhole in question near La Jolla Shores actually opened Wednesday, exposing a gas line that was intact but at risk of being punctured by one of the slabs of concrete from the collapsed road.
— CBS News 8 (@CBS8) January 7, 2016
El Niño is a weather pattern that results because of changing ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. Its counterpart is La Niña. They alternate, and each typically lasts nine months to a year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. During El Niño, the western and northern United States typically experience above-average temperatures that can wreak havoc on ordinary weather. This year's El Niño has tied the record — measured by peak sea surface temperature — for the strongest ever.