WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Repair work continued Thursday on a broken water main that flooded parts of the UCLA campus earlier this week.
“LADWP crews made major progress in excavating a 56 x 41.5 ft. work site around the pipe in order to better assess the pipes and facilitate their repair,” officials said in a statement.
Crews hope to finish the repair by late Friday or early Saturday morning, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said.
KCAL9’s Randy Paige reports it will take at least another day to fill the hole, repair the street and reopen the surrounding stretch of Sunset Boulevard to traffic.
The 93-year-old pipe burst at a Y-shaped juncture Tuesday afternoon on Sunset, in front of Marymount High School.
It created a giant sinkhole and sent 20 million gallons of water onto the UCLA campus, destroying the floor at Pauley Pavilion, some football facilities, fields and submersing or stranding approximately 960 vehicles in two parking structures.
It’s estimated about 400 cars on the lower levels of the structures were severely damaged. Vehicles parked on higher levels don’t appear to be damaged, Lopez reports.
Campus officials say they hope to have all of the water pumped out of the structures by Friday night. Crews will then proceed removing mud and debris before the owners of the vehicles will be permitted to retrieve them.
“These are their cars. This is their livlihood. These are their possessions. And we’re working 24/7 to get this prepared so we can get those cars out of there and reunited with their owners,” UCLA spokesman Tod Tamberg said.
Officials said the amount of water lost could have served more than 100,000 DWP customers for one day.
LADWP crews were finally able to stop water flow to the 30-inch pipe around 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Total damage estimates were not available.
On Thursday evening, tow trucks began the arduous task of trying to remove the damaged and undamaged vehicles from the lot.
KCAL9’s Serene Branson said they were starting with the undamaged cars.
Six tow trucks and flat bed trucks began to tow the 267 cars deemed undamaged.
“We have been working hard to both pump out water and try as fast as possible to reunite people with cars and possessions,” Tamberg said.
Senior Gina Vrdokjak told Branson she was frustrated being without a vehicle. Her vehicle, a brand new Mustang.
“It has been infuriating,” she said, “not having my car, I can’t go home at all.”
Customers, including those who have damaged vehicles, who wish to file a claim with the DWP can visit the DWP website for more information.