A 100-year-old water main near the UCLA campus in Los Angeles ruptured Tuesday afternoon, stranding people in parking garages and flooding the school’s basketball court that was renovated less than two years ago.
The arena underwent a $133 million renovation in 2012.
Parts of the UCLA campus, including Drake Track and Field Stadium, Parking Lot 7 and Pauley Pavilion, were flooded. Water cascaded to the entrance of Pauley Pavilion, built in 1965, then poured on to the court.
Despite fire crews and university workers piling sandbags in front of entrances to Pauley Pavilion in an effort to prevent further damage, its floor and locker rooms “sustained significant flooding,” Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said.
“The water will be removed from the floor tonight,” Guerrero said. “We will then reassess the situation tomorrow morning and be able to provide additional information at the appropriate time.”
When asked about replacing the court, Guerrero said, “that’s the course of action that we’re looking for. No questions about it.”
“We’re currently in the drying process at Pauley Pavilion, and the court is showing signs of buckling and expansion after being flooded by 8 to 10 inches of water,” Assistant Vice Chancellor Kelly Schmader said. “Whether we’ll be able to save that court, I don’t know,” he added.
The 30-inch pipe burst under nearby Sunset Boulevard and sent water 30 feet into the air, opening a 15-foot hole in the street and inundating part of the campus.
“We will not see Sunset Boulevard opened up today,” said Jamie Moore, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. “The DWP’s been working all night long … trying to remove the water, but we do still have water coming through that 30-inch pipe — it’s a huge pipe.
“Once we get all that water out, DWP is going to start working toward making its repairs and then they’ll start working with the [Departments] of Transportation and Public Works and trying to repair the street,” he said.
The break came amid a historic drought when residents are now being threatened with $500 fines for overuse. Los Angeles and much of California is suffering from one of the worst droughts in more than three decades.
“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.
Officials Unsure of UCLA Flood Repair Date
UCLA officials say six campus facilities were damaged Tuesday including the Pauley Pavilion which recently underwent a $132 million renovation.
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