Pauley Pavilion at UCLA was flooded Tuesday after a broken water main on Sunset Boulevard sent millions of gallons of water streaming on to the Westwood campus.
Even as city officials struggled to stop the flow of water from a broken pipe that handles 75,000 gallons per minute when functioning, crews began work to clean up saturated athletic facilities. A water restoration company was already on scene, working alongside UCLA staff.
Three and half hours after the flooding began, about an inch of water remained on the wood court of Pauley Pavilion.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post reported that the Spaulding Field football practice facility had been flooded. UCLA confirmed that the water did not reach the facility.
A spokeswoman for UCLA said, at its peak, the water was as deep as eight inches at a facility that underwent a $136-million renovation, completed in 2012.
At Pauley Paviliion, workers used brooms, squeegees, vacuums and floor cleaners to remove the water. As that work was underway, sand bags sat stacked at the service entrance in an effort to hold back water still cascading down the stairs.
It remains unclear whether UCLA’s athletic teams will be able to use Pauley Pavilion this year.
Drake Stadium, the track and field facility, was flooded, and water poured into a adjacent underground parking lot.
Water made its way inside the J.D. Morgan Center, which houses athletic staff and administration offices, as well as inside the academic center and UCLA’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Water was also spotted inside the John Wooden Center.
However, the water did not reach the Spaulding Field football practice facility.
“At this hour, we are still gathering information and, to the extent possible, assessing the damage to our athletic facilities affected by the water main break,” UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. “Most people are aware by now that the floor and locker rooms sustained significant flooding. The water will be removed from the floor tonight. We will then reassess the situation tomorrow morning.”
George Birch, a fourth-year biology student, made his way onto the campus when he heard about the flooding and was among those who helped bail water from the Morgan Center.
“People were using everything. They were grabbing tables to push water, using trash cans, buckets, everything,” he said. “It was nice to see a ton of people in athletics and the fire department come together.”
Dramatic images shared on social media showed a substantial amount of standing water on the court of the basketball arena.
The water main failed shortly before 3:30 p.m. Fire officials compared it to a flash flood.
Times staff writer Ryan Menezes contributed to this report.