BURBANK (CBSLA.com) — Crews are cleaning up the mess from a broken water main Tuesday evening that created a sinkhole in the parking lot of the Burbank Fire Department’s training center.
Burbank police say the break was reported about 5:15 p.m., with water spewing into the streets surrounding Victory Boulevard and Ontario for at least three hours, causing a sinkhole spanning 20 feet long and 20 feet deep to form in the facility’s parking lot.
Burbank Fire Department Capt. Peter Hendrickson said buildings at the training facility were also affected.
“It shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The water flowed out of here into the streets and was handled by the flood-control system,” Hendrickson said. “The problem that we have is this is our training facility, and our EOC [Emergency Operations Center] and it is completely flooded. It has about 6 inches of water inside our classrooms.”
The Burbank fire captain said it’s unclear why the main broke. However, he said his department will be prepared Tuesday evening in the event of any major incident.
“We do have a backup EOC at our police station. So, if something happens tonight – earthquake, large fire, any type of major incident – we can open up our EOC at the police station,” Hendrickson said.
Dozens of neighbors took advantage of the deep runoff.
But police, who closed Ontario and Fairview streets between Victory Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, were forced to clear the area, citing fear of possible power lines that may hit the flowing water.
“We were all running around in the water. We had some donuts that we were surfing down. The kids had their boogie boards and they were surfing,” Alisabeth Boensel said, adding that it’s unfortunate so much water was wasted during a drought.
“It kind of sucks to lose all that water,” she said.
There were no reports of homes flooded in the area. However, it’s expected that 30 residences will not have water until possibly Wednesday morning.
The Department of Water and Power is working to determine the cause of the break.