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Sinkholes crop up across Southern California after winter storms battered the region

Sinkholes have formed in Southern California after days of rain and snow battered the state.

A large sinkhole in front of Ventura County’s Santa Paula High School sprang up on 6th Street, causing an unoccupied car to fall in Wednesday, the Ventura County Fire Department reported wrote on Twitter.

According to the fire service, the incident has stabilized and no injuries have been reported. The scene was turned over to the Santa Paula Police Department.

“It’s a ruptured storm drain pipe that, after we had all the heavy rains in January and just last weekend, has shot out water in the pipe and eroded it away from under the sidewalk,” said Clete Saunier, director of public works for Santa Paula.

Saunier said the erosion is localized to the west side of the sidewalk along 6th Street along the pipelines, but there’s no reason to believe it extends north of East Virginia Terrace or south of East Pleasant Street.

The high school was closed Thursday as crews continued work on the sinkhole, Saunier said, adding that he ordered one of the contractors to put CCTV in the pipes around the high school to make sure the walls of the pipes are intact.

Sinkholes have also formed in other parts of Southern California.

A sinkhole appeared at Cal State Los Angeles under Circle Drive between Campus Road and the Lot 2 entrance, school officials tweeted Wednesday.

After geotechnical engineers inspected the site, they determined that the affected area is larger than initially believed. The fencing was modified to close off the area and it was considered unsafe for cars and pedestrians.

In the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles, a sinkhole appeared Wednesday in the 1200 block of Elden Avenue, according to a press release from the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works.

The public works crew assessed the sinkhole and determined that no utilities were affected and no pipes were broken, the release said. Crew members are still on site making repairs, which should be completed by the end of the week. The roadway where the sinkhole originated has been closed.

Elena Stern, a spokesman for the city’s public works department, said there are about three sinkholes in Los Angeles, but she doesn’t know if they are storm-related.

She advised anyone who encounters a sinkhole to keep a safe distance and call 311 or report it to MyLA311.