Update as of 12:09 a.m. EDT: An official at the city's Department of Water and Power, or DWP, was questioned about the delay in stopping the flow of water after an estimated eight to 10 million gallons of water poured out from a ruptured 93-year-old water pipe, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"We had to do research to get to the correct valve," Jim McDaniel, a DWP senior assistant general manager, said, according to the LA Times, adding that the closure of a wrong valve could have left many people without water. The water had been reportedly flowing for more than three hours before the flow was cut off.
Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz reportedly said: “Unfortunately, we lost a lot of water, around 35,000 gallons a minute, which is not ideal in the worst drought in the city's history.”
A nearly 100-year-old water pipe snaking under Los Angeles' Sunset Boulevard that burst Tuesday, flooding parts of the city and the UCLA campus with millions of gallons of water, has been shut off.
Workers from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reportedly had to gradually close multiple valves to stop the gushing water after an estimated eight to 10 million gallons of water poured out from the ruptured 93-year-old water pipe. The flooding stranded motorists in the neighborhood and the Los Angeles Fire Department reportedly said that at least five people had been rescued from underground parking structures.
“We’ve got a 30-inch main in the center of Sunset Boulevard that’s erupted,” Los Angeles Fire Department’s spokesman Jamie Moore said, according to CBS Los Angeles. “We’ve got thousands and thousands of gallons of water flowing downhill. The only two (parking structures) that have been affected are parking lot four and parking lot seven. We’re asking people to stay away from those parking lots.”
The water reportedly had been flowing for more than three hours before the flow was cut off. A statement from the mayor's office said that water service was not affected by the incident, according to the Associated Press, or AP. But, the city's iconic Sunset Boulevard was reportedly closed to traffic leading to heavy gridlock.
Another spokesperson for the fire department reportedly said that no injuries were reported in the flooding. Authorities at the UCLA campus reportedly said that parking areas and some low-lying athletic fields, including the famous Pauley Pavilion, had likely faced some damage.
"It's painful. It's painful," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said at a news conference, according to AP. "We just refurbished Pauley just a few years ago. And it's a beautiful structure. It's of course, a symbolic structure for this entire campus."