One rescued amid flooding from water main break in Pacific Palisades; street closed

An L.A. County lifeguard checks vehicles in an underground parking lot.
A Los Angeles County lifeguard checks vehicles in an underground parking lot after a water main break in the Pacific Palisades on Sunday night.

Scores of residents remained without water in the Pacific Palisades on Monday morning, after a water main break caused major flooding in the area the night before.

Crews are working in the 16000 block of Sunset Boulevard, where the 16-inch cast iron pipe burst Sunday around 7:40 p.m., sending water gushing into the streets and flooding underground parking lots.

A stretch of the main thoroughfare between Wildomar Street and Muskingum Avenue will remain closed until Monday afternoon, when the westbound lane is expected to reopen, according to Deborah Hong, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.


At least one person was rescued by firefighters from the floodwaters Sunday night and was treated on the scene, according to Nicholas Prange, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Water levels became so deep that L.A. County lifeguards joined the search and rescue effort, swimming down to check if residents might be trapped in submerged cars, he added.

Residents living in three affected buildings lost their water service as a result of the break. It will be restored once the broken section of the pipe is replaced, which technicians are aiming to complete by 4 p.m., Hong said.

The water flowing from the pipe installed in 1939 was not shut off until just before midnight Sunday, Hong said, adding that it had to be turned off slowly to avoid causing more damage elsewhere in the interconnected system.

“It’s not like your garden hose where water is gushing out [and] you just turn it off really quickly,” Hong said.

“Because there’s so much water going through these pipes, the way that they have to be shut down needs to be carefully choreographed with the other valves nearby,” she added.


Firefighters worked for hours to divert water, which damaged first-floor units in one apartment complex, Prange said.

No residents were displaced. Fire personnel left the area just after 3:20 a.m., Prange said.