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Some Still Displaced, Many Without Water 2 Days After Ruptured Pipe Floods South L.A. Neighborhood

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Vehicles are submerged after a water main break in South L.A. on Dec. 21, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Vehicles are submerged after a water main break in South L.A. on Dec. 21, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Some South Los Angeles residents remained displaced and several homes were still without water two days after a ruptured pipe inundated the neighborhood’s South Park community on Friday.

A 24-inch cast iron main, built in 1922, burst along the 300 block of East 55th Street, with flooding reported as early as 4:50 a.m.

Firefighters responded to the scene around 7:20 a.m. when the water began threatening homes. Footage from the scene shows a rush of water carrying debris and partially submerging vehicles as residents looked on from their homes.

The L.A. Department of Water and Power said 41 residents were evacuated to the Fred Roberts Recreation Center in Central-Alameda, and that crews shut off the main, leaving some 75 customers without water.

Residents in five of eight properties evacuated were allowed back home Saturday night, LADWP said.

On Sunday, the remaining three homes, including one duplex, were still inaccessible, LADWP spokesman Michael Ventre told KTLA. Those residents will be able to return no later than Tuesday evening, the utility said.

Crews continued to work on disinfecting the new section of the pipe to ensure water safety, LADWP said.

“If initial test results come back favorably [Sunday] afternoon, LADWP will be able to turn service back on to the 75 households without water,” a statement from the utility said.

LADWP said it was distributing cases of bottled water to customers. Residents can also refill containers with drinking water at a water truck on 55th Street and San Pedro Avenue.

The utility also set up the following stations:

  • Two portable shower trailers, with a total of six stalls, on 55th Street and San Pedro Avenue
  • Five water stations for non-drinking water on 55th Street along Towne Avenue, San Pedro Street, Main Street and Avalon Boulevard
  • Portable toilets on 55th Street between Main Street and Avalon Boulevard and on San Pedro Street between 54th and 56th streets

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted images of him visiting displaced residents on Sunday.

“@LADWP is working to repair and restore service to get everyone back home soon,” the mayor said. “Meanwhile we’re providing accommodations and holiday gift cards to make this tough time as comfortable as possible.”

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