A 36-inch water main installed nearly 100 years ago ruptured in West Hollywood today, flooding surface streets and closing a section of Sunset Boulevard.
The break in the 8400 block of West 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 in that area of West Hollywood, were dispatched to the scene and worked to shut off the flow of water.
“With any such operation, it has to be done in a calculated manner so we do not do further damage to our system due to fluctuations in pressure,” DWP spokeswoman Jane Galbreath said. It was unclear how long it would take to completely shut off the flow of water.
No DWP customers lost water service because of the break, but officials warned that some customers might experience brief interruptions as crews worked to shut off the water flow.
The broken pipe 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, Galbreath said.
Sunset Boulevard was closed in both directions between La Cienega Boulevard and Crescent Heights Boulevard. Some surrounding streets were also. 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.
County and city fire crews used sandbags to divert water from structures. Employees of the Mondrian and Grafton hotels scrambled to keep water from flowing into their buildings. Water from Sunset Boulevard was flowing downhill along neighborhood streets toward Santa Monica Boulevard, but there were no immediate reports of residential flooding.
The House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard announced that tonight’s concert at the venue has been cancelled due tot he break. Ticket holders will receive refunds, according to the venue. Officials at the Comedy Store said they were still planning to have shows tonight, but were monitoring the situation.