Thousands of gallons of water gushed from a Department of Water and Power storage tank in the Mar Vista area of West Los Angeles early today, creating a rushing rivulet of mud and gravel and causing the temporary evacuation of one home.
“Water was leaking from an eight-inch valve at the rate of 1,000 gallons a minute,” a city Fire Department spokesman said, but DWP officials said they have not yet determined what caused the leak.
The tank, at the corner of Grandview Avenue and Palms Boulevard, has a capacity of 1 million gallons, officials said, and they estimated that it contained 850,000 gallons when it sprang a leak at about 4:30 a.m.
Water spilled from the tank’s east side, creating a waterfall down an ivy-covered embankment and cutting a trench nearly a foot deep in an unpaved alley. Firefighters diverted the flow westward on Charnock Road back to Grandview, where it lapped over the curb as it rushed more than a quarter of a mile downhill to Venice Boulevard, where it was carried off in storm drains.
“The water just kept coming,” said Genevieve Horton, who lives next to the tank on Grandview. She had awakened to find her carpets wet, she said, and went outside to find that a waterfall was pouring over a retaining wall between her property and the tank.
Water stood three feet deep on her patio until firefighters diverted it to an alley, she said.