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UCLA offers emergency assistance to owners of cars damaged in flood

UCLA offers interest-free loans and emergency assistance to victims of water main break
UCLA offers help to those whose cars were flooded, mud-covered by water main break

UCLA has offered emergency assistance to hundreds of students and employees whose cars were left sodden and covered in mud after a water main ruptured and flooded two campus parking structures.

Interest-free loans will be available to about 100 school employees whose vehicles were parked in the two structures that flooded when the water main broke on July 29, spilling more than 20 million gallons of water.

Loans of up to $5,000 will be available, to be repaid over two years through payroll deduction, school officials said.

“The loss of, and damage to, personal property resulting from the water main break has generated a great deal of anxiety and caused inconvenience for many in our campus community,” Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement. “Our objective is to ease the inconvenience and help people recover as much as possible.”

School officials also sent an email Thursday notifying 260 vehicle owners -- including many students -- that the UCLA Foundation planned to release $55,649 from an emergency relief fund to help them. Each will be eligible to receive at least $214 later this month, they said.

The relief money comes from a crowdfunding project set up after many people contacted the school offering to help, officials said

Nearly 1,000 vehicles were stranded for several days in parking lots 4 and 7 after the water main break, which created a massive sinkhole and also flooded UCLA's famed Pauley Pavilion.

Water had to be completely drained from both facilities before crews could tow the cars out.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power hired an inspector to appraise the damaged vehicles. Affected owners have been directed to the DWP's website to file claims for damages.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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