Sinkhole opens after water main breaks in Hollywood Hills

Debris floats as water floods a street.
Water floods the street at Cahuenga Terrace and Cahuenga Boulevard in Los Angeles after a water main break.

A large sinkhole opened Monday in the Hollywood Hills after a water main break sent water gushing down city streets.

The break was reported around 1 a.m. in the 6500 block of Cahuenga Terrace near Cahuenga Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokeswoman Carol Tucker. The area is located along the 101 Freeway across from the Hollywood Bowl.

News video captured by OnScene.TV showed water flowing down the streets. Cars created waves as they passed through a deep pool near the freeway onramp.

Crews responded quickly and shut off the water in about 30 minutes, Tucker said, but the break created a sinkhole on Cahuenga Terrace. The hole measures about 6 feet by 5 feet.


Nearby buildings were not damaged and no injuries were reported.

The precise cause of the break has not yet been determined. However, it is one of several water main breaks in the area in less than a year, including a November break that also sent water careening down Cahuenga Boulevard.

Officials initially said the 8-inch cast-iron pipe that broke Monday had leaked several times, but later determined that it was the first time it had broken. Another nearby pipe on Cahuenga Boulevard — a 12-inch cast-iron pipe — has had at least three breaks in the last 20 years, Tucker said.

“That [12-inch] one is prioritized for replacement already, and then we’re going to keep our eye on this smaller one that’s on Cahuenga Terrace now that it has leaked,” she said.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has miles of pipes throughout the city, she said, and a “large percentage” are still the originals installed in the 1930s.

“It’s a process of prioritizing the ones that need replacements, and budgeting resources to do that,” Tucker said. There is currently no timeframe for replacing either pipe.

Sixteen customers remained without water in the area Monday morning, with service expected to be restored by about 3 p.m.