Water shut off from main that flooded UCLA campus, Sunset Blvd. (updated)

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Update 6:57 p.m.: More than four hours after a 30-inch water main ruptured, sending water shooting 30 feet into the air and flooding Sunset Boulevard and UCLA, officials shut off the flow, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The newspaper, citing city officials, said the water main break sent 8 to 10 million gallons of water flooding into the university:

The 90-year-old main line — nearly 3 feet in diameter — delivers 75,000 gallons a minute and gushed torrents of water for more than three hours after bursting shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Previously: A broken water main near the UCLA campus spewed water into the air, stranding cars and people in underground parking structures and flooding Pauley Pavilion and campus athletic fields, as well as other parts of the school.

Los Angeles Water and Power spokeswoman Michele Vargas says the water main under Sunset Boulevard that has been spewing water for two hours would take another two hours to shut off.

Vargas says the pipe has to be turned off slowly to avoid more damage.

"It’s a pretty odd sight, you know, more like Yellowstone than Los Angeles," UCLA molecular biology grad student Aaron Cooper told KPCC.

There was an immense geyser surging from the middle of the street on Sunset Boulevard. Streets on and near campus are flooded, and fast-moving sheets of water are pouring down the entrance of a parking structure and into campus athletic fields near Pauley Pavilion, which received a $136 million renovation just two years ago. The water covered the arena's new wood floor.

TV reports also show a car surrounded by muddy water up to the wheel wells and students wading through ankle-deep water.

"If you can get out and take a peek on Sunset it’s like a river," Cooper said. "It’s running right through the middle of campus."


The flooding closed Sunset between Marymount Place and Westwood Plaza at the north end of UCLA's campus, NBC L.A. reports. The break happened just before 4 p.m.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that the broken pipe is from 1921. City officials say the pipe carries water from a reservoir in the San Fernando Valley.

The pipe normally carries 75,000 gallons per minute, according to a city press release.

The cause of the break hasn't been determined.

Video of the water main break

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Last flood tweet

This story has been updated.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the cost of the Pauley Pavilion renovations. KPCC regrets the error.

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