2nd water main break in 2 months closes down Sunset Strip

September 26, 2014

Ruptured pipe gushed out 9,600 gallons of water per minute at one point, DWP says

People stopped to take pictures of flowing water along North Olive Drive, following a water main break on Sunset Boulevard, in West Hollywood, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Jay L. Clendenin)

People stopped to take pictures of flowing water along North Olive Drive, following a water main break on Sunset Boulevard, in West Hollywood, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Jay L. Clendenin)

(CNS) — A 36-inch water main installed nearly 100 years ago ruptured in West Hollywood Friday afternoon, flooding streets and closing a section of Sunset Boulevard.

Just two months ago,  a 93-year-old 30-inch-diameter water main ruptured north of UCLA, blasting a geyser of water through Sunset Boulevard and sending an estimated 20 million gallons cascading down the street and inundating a number of vehicles as it made its way onto the university grounds.

Friday’s break in the 8400 block of Sunset Boulevard near Olive Drive was reported about 2:20 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Crews from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which supplies water to customers on West Hollywood’s east side, were dispatched to the scene and shut down the flow. The DWP announced about 6:10 p.m. that the water was shut off and that crews would be on scene overnight making repairs.

The pipe believed to have broken was installed in 1916 and lined with concrete in 1957 “to protect (it) from corrosion and extend its life,” according to the DWP.

There is also a 32-inch pipe, operated by the Metropolitan Water District, in the area, according to the DWP.

At the height of the water flow, the ruptured pipe spewed about 9,600 gallons of water per minute, DWP spokeswoman Kim Hughes said.

Sunset Boulevard was closed in both directions between Holloway Drive and Crescent Heights Boulevard, snarling traffic into the evening rush. Some surrounding streets were also closed.

Buses on Metro’s Line 2 were rerouted from Sunset Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard between San Vicente Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, according to Metro.

Sunset Boulevard was expected to remain closed at Olive Drive until some time Saturday, Sgt. J. Morien of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station said.

While the water was flowing, county and city fire crews used sandbags to divert it from structures and employees of the Mondrian and Grafton hotels scrambled to keep water from flowing into their buildings.

Water from Sunset Boulevard flowed downhill along neighborhood streets toward Santa Monica Boulevard, but there were no immediate reports of residential flooding.

The House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard canceled tonight’s concert and closed because it was impossible to load band equipment into the nightclub, Scott said. Ticket holders will receive refunds, according to the venue.

 

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