Grass Valley sinkhole’s impacts on creek will remain |

Grass Valley sinkhole’s impacts on creek will remain

Aerial view of the Grass Valley sinkhole, July 11.
Keith Hagen /

Mounds of dirt that were pushed into Little Wolf Creek when a 100-foot deep sinkhole opened up on Freeman Lane in Grass Valley this winter will remain in the creekbed, according to city officials.

City Manager Tim Kiser said he was surprised when specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Highway Administration and the South Yuba River Citizens League inspected the area and told him that leaving the dirt in Little Wolf Creek was the most natural course of action.

“My initial intuition was thinking we would have to remove it, but when FEMA came out with the Federal Highway Administration specialist … they all came to the same conclusion: that it’s better to leave (the dirt) than remove it,” Kiser said.

Specialists told Kiser that it’s typical for a landslide or other natural event to push dirt into a creek and move it downstream.

“They viewed it as a natural response,” he said.

The sinkhole repair project is still underway after delays caused by drainage and cleanup issues set the timeline back, Kiser said. He expects repairs to be complete by next month.

“We’re in the final stages,” he said.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email or call 530-477-4231.

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