LOS ANGELES (AP) — The quiet summer campus of UCLA suddenly was steeped in water and chaos after a major water pipe burst and spewed some 8 million gallons, stranding people in parking garages and flooding the school's storied basketball court less than two years after a major renovation.
The 30-inch, nearly century old pipe burst Tuesday afternoon under nearby Sunset Boulevard, sending water 30 feet into the air, opening a 15-foot hole in the street and inundating part of the campus that soon was swarmed with police and firefighters.
"Unfortunately UCLA was the sink for this water source," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said.
The break came amid a historic drought when California residents are being threatened with $500 fines for overuse.
"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," City Councilman Paul Koretz said.
Repairing the pipe could take several days, Department of Water and Power official Jeff Bray said at briefing this morning. A number of valves were still leaking water into the ruptured pipe, and the complex repair operation cannot begin until it is drained, Bray said.