Sewage Leak Damages Three Homes

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Three Hollywood Hills homes sustained damage early Sunday morning when a break in an 8-inch water main under La Granada Drive sent water and sewage into their basements and lower floors.

The break occurred near the corner of La Granada and Holly Drive about 7:55 a.m. Water flowed through a nearby sewer and down the hill into the homes, which border La Granada on one side and Holly on the other. The age of the main, which dated from the early 1920s, is the suspected culprit, said Bob Smith, a senior supervisor with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Two of the homes are uninhabitable, authorities and their owners said. A third sustained moderate damage to the front landscaping.

The house belonging to actress Michele Greene, a star of the 1980s TV series "L.A. Law," appeared hardest hit. Greene, 37, said she lost everything in her basement, including photo albums of her late father's family and LPs belonging to her brother. Her home's foundation may be at risk, and she saved her cat, Meg, from a flooded closet.

"Everything down in the lower level of the house is gone," said Greene, sitting dazed on the front step of the home she's lived in since 1987. "I've got to find a place to stay. I can't believe it happened. I'm in shock."

Two doors down, a home belonging to J. Paul Getty III, the grandson of the philanthropic oil tycoon, suffered water damage to its basement, first floor and landscaping. A backyard pool appeared to be contaminated with main water and sewage, authorities said. A woman answering the door said that the owner was not in and that the family would have no comment.

Water was shut off for much of the area throughout the day. Repairs were expected to be completed and service restored by early evening.

"When this happens in the hills, it's always bad," said Smith. "I'm surprised this wasn't worse."

Maha Saade, a makeup artist who lives with her fiance between Getty and Greene, was more fortunate. The water sent mud over the front steps and frontyard daisies and caused some damage to the garage. But that was it.

"The firefighters did a great job," she said, showing where they had rescued items in her basement. "At first, when I heard their voices, I was asleep and didn't know who they were. I was screaming, 'Why are you here? Don't you know it's Sunday morning?' "

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