Water main break in Los Angeles submerges cars in parking lot

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 18, 2015 7:32 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four cars in the parking lot of an apartment complex were submerged from flooding after an 89-year-old water main ruptured on Wednesday in the upscale Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood Hills, officials said.

Water streamed from an 18-inch cast iron main under a sidewalk and pooled in a parking lot, rising to the windshields of some cars, said Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokesman Albert Rodriguez.

The unusually large water main break came seven months after an even more massive rupture near the University of California, Los Angeles that spouted a 40-foot geyser and sent some 20 million gallons of water across the north end of the campus.

The flooding gained national attention and led city officials to call for fixes to ageing infrastructure.

Rodriguez said he did not have an estimate of how much water poured from the broken Hollywood Hills pipe, but that it was a significantly smaller rupture than the one near UCLA last year.

The latest rupture was on a water main dating from 1926, but it had not previously been seen at high risk of failure, said LADWP spokeswoman Michelle Figueroa.

In the aftermath of the massive break near UCLA, the LADWP proposed spending $1.3 billion over 10 years fixing the city's water system, she said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh)