Cleanup Continues At UCLA Following Massive Sunset Blvd. Water Main Break
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WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Cleanup continued Wednesday on Sunset Boulevard and the UCLA campus after a 30-inch water main broke, spilling up to 20 million gallons of water.
Authorities said crews were working to shut off the water and repair the 93-year-old pipe, which delivers approximately 500 million gallons of water to customers daily.
The problem involves the Y-shaped juncture of a 30-inch main and a 36-inch main, officials said. It was unclear when repairs to the pipe would be completed; Sunset Boulevard will be closed until at least Friday.
The main broke around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, creating a 5-foot deep sinkhole in the road. The water has still not been shut off completely, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said.
Water flowed onto the UCLA campus and into two parking structures. The water also caused damage to Drake Stadium, an intramural athletic field and the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.
“We basically had eight to 10 inches of water all over the court,” UCLA Management Spokesman Kelly Schmader said. “Crews worked through the night to get that water removed and they’re currently in the drying process. The court is showing signs of buckling and expanding. Whether we’ll be able to save that court, I don’t know.”
Officials estimate the drying process could take up to six weeks.
“(The field was) completely covered,” a track and field coach said. “I went down there like 15 minutes after the water broke, and when I walked down onto the field, it just slowly started seeping in, and within literally 30 minutes, it was completely covered, about 4-5 inches deep, and it just started flooding everywhere.”
Damage was also caused to the J.D. Morgan Center, which houses athletic staff and administration offices; the George Kneller Academic Center; the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame; and the John Wooden Center.
No injuries were reported, said the LAFD, whose swift-water rescue teams rescued five people in parking garages.
The UCLA campus will be open and classes will be held Wednesday, Chancellor Gene D. Block said. However, UCLA summer camps and the Fernald and Krieger childcare centers will be closed.
Sunset Boulevard remains closed between Veteran and Hilgard avenues. Parking structures 4 and 7, where 739 vehicles are stranded in up to four feet of water, were expected to be closed through the end of the week.
The university predicts 400 to 500 cars are a total loss in parking structure 4.
“It’s an insurance issue with the various owners and of course we’re going to help them out. They’re our family,” Schmader said.
For information on closures and campus updates, click here.
No customers were without water Wednesday and water quality was not adversely impacted due to the break, the LADWP said.
See what flooded campus sites looked like during and after the deluge.
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