A massive sinkhole that appeared in Grass Valley could take crews until April to repair after it opened up following storms earlier this month.

The discovery of the seven story, 80 foot wide hole prompted city officials and Nevada County council members to declare a state of emergency for the area.

Director of Public works and Engineer for the City of Grass Valley, Tim Kiser, is estimating the cost of the damages to be around $2.5 million.

"So, for a small city that's significant," Kiser said. "So, we are looking for assistance through the state."

Last weeks heavy storms damaged a 7.5 foot diameter culvert underneath the property where the sinkhole happened, Kiser said.

Jeff Cox, a geologist with Holdrege & Kull, a geologic engineering firm, said the sinkhole is a result of high water flows from last week’s storm. The high water flow caused a problem with city drain pipes.

Crews are working in 12 hours shifts to weather proof the area so no more dirt erodes away and to prevent the hole from growing.

Work will continue on the sinkhole, which is located behind Liberty Motors on Freeman Lane.

The sinkhole opened near the site of a used-car sales business, Liberty Motors, is closed for safety reasons as crews have now dug the sinkhole out to seven stories in depth, Cox said.

Cox said crews have dug the sinkhole down to grade, hoping to weatherproof the hole before the next series of storms begin.