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UCLA area again flooded by water line break, Sunset Boulevard shut down in Westwood

DWP and Public Work Street Services clear the site where a water line break occurred, causing flooding and downed trees.
Workers with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Public Works Street Services look over the site where an underground water line break occurred, causing flooding and downing two trees near UCLA.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

UCLA staff stacked sandbags to protect Pauley Pavilion early Sunday after an underground 30-inch water line broke in Westwood, causing water to gush so powerfully it took down two trees and shuttered Sunset Boulevard between Veteran and Hilgard avenues, authorities said.

The floodwaters in the 10600 block of West Sunset Boulevard were reported at 1:35 a.m.

No one needed to be rescued, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey, who said firefighters arrived on scene before the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

LADWP crews completed the shutdown of the 30-inch water main about 7:45 a.m.

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The flood did not affect student housing, but could affect other campus facilities in the immediate area, he said.

According to Humphrey, a residential property to the north of Sunset did take on water.

A Public Works Street Services worker drinks water while helping to remove two trees that fell across Sunset Boulevard.
A Public Works Street Services worker takes a drink of water while helping to remove two trees that fell across Sunset Boulevard, a result of an underground water line break that caused flooding near UCLA.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

“Though no injuries or missing persons have been reported, LAFD will perform a comprehensive search of flooded subterranean sections of UCLA Lot 4 Parking Structure as the floodwaters subside,” he said.

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Firefighters will also assist Los Angeles’ Street Services in removing toppled trees from Sunset Boulevard, he said.

Sunset remained closed between Veteran and Hilgard avenues, as was Stone Canyon Road from Sunset Boulevard to Bellagio Road, Humphrey said.

Video posted to the website Citizen.com showed water moving rapidly along the shoulder of a Westwood roadway.

The break occurred not far from a July 2014 rupture that spewed an estimated 20 million gallons of water across the UCLA campus and flooded numerous buildings, including Pauley Pavilion, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, J.D. Morgan Center and the John Wooden Center.

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Jerry Markham, wades into a flooded walkway in 2014 after a water main break on Sunset Boulevard near the UCLA campus.
In 2014, Jerry Markham, director of design and project management for facilities management at UCLA, wades into a flooded walkway after a water main break on Sunset Boulevard near the UCLA campus.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

LADWP officials reported that Sunday’s water main break was not the same trunk line that ruptured in 2014. “We have many large diameter pipes running thru this area of [the] city,” the utility said in a tweet.


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