Roads buckling from water pressure were shut down in the area of Sunset Boulevard and Beaudry Avenue — on the edge of downtown Los Angeles, Echo Park and Chinatown — after a main burst and sent water gushing through streets and into area businesses.
The break occurred about 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday and it affected a CVS Pharmacy and Jack in the Box in the area. Water collected in the fast-food restaurant's drive-thru and it was eventually closed as water flowed inside the business as well, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Jeff Mullen, who works nearby, compared the flooding caused by the break to "armageddon."
“There’s a river coming down Sunset Boulevard, moving boulders, buckling the road. It’s unbelievable,” he said.
By 6:15 a.m. Thursday, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials were working to repair the 24-inch water main and water had been restored to most customers in the area, the agency said in a tweet.
About 10 customers were without service, and the estimated restoration time was predicted at 8 p.m.
Motorists were advised to use alternative routes. Two lanes were open in the area during the repairs Thursday morning, causing traffic to slow.
Though the cause of the break is unknown, LADWP officials tweeted that the agency experiences more water main breaks in the fall and winter because of colder water entering the system from the Eastern Sierra Nevada.
"The colder water causes the pipes to shrink very slightly, known as thermal contraction, which can cause some pipes to break," the agency tweeted.