Water main break topples trees, sends water flooding into UCLA campus

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A water main ruptured in Westwood early Sunday morning, toppling trees and sending rising flood waters to the UCLA campus, officials said.

The break was reported around 1:30 a.m. in the area of 10630 W. Sunset Blvd., before water began entering the southern part of the campus and one residential property on the north side of Sunset Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

UCLA staff protected the nearby Pauley Pavilion from the water with sandbags.

Video showed flooding at an on-campus parking garage, with water rushing down stairs and gushing in through doors. UCLA said the flooding affected the Charles E. Young Drive North, parking lots 4 and 7 and the Intramural Field.

“The beauty of all this is there are no students, meaning we’ve got about 300 on campus and they are in another area,” LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan said.

LAFD said the floodwater is not threatening any student housing in the area and no evacuations were ordered, but the flooding may impact other nearby campus facilities.

“Though no injuries or missing persons have been reported, LAFD will perform a comprehensive search of flooded subterranean sections of the UCLA Lot 4 Parking Structure as the floodwaters subside,” LAFD said. “Initial reports are that no other UCLA facilities, including nearby Pauley Pavilion sustained substantive damage.”

Crews from the L.A. Department of Water and Power worked to shut down the 30-inch ruptured water line and make repairs, the utility said. The shutdown was completed by 7:45 a.m.

Some customers in the area may have experienced low pressure but no outages were reported, according to LADWP.

All lanes of Sunset Boulevard were closed between Veteran and Hilgard avenues due to toppled trees and water on the roadway. Stone Canyon Road was also shut down from Sunset Boulevard to Bellagio Road. It’s unknown when they were expected to reopen.

The water main break happened in the same location of another leak that caused flooding on July 29, 2014, when a rupture sent an estimated 20 million gallons of water into the Westwood neighborhood, much of it into the UCLA campus, according to LAFD.

After that incident, UCLA submitted a $13-million claim for damages to five buildings, several athletic fields and two garages, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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