Update: Water Main Rupture Floods Sunset Blvd. and Side Streets

Water gushes from the street on Sunset Boulevard at La Cienega.
Water gushes from the street on Sunset Boulevard at La Cienega.

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.

Water from water main break on Sunset  rushes down North Olive Drive.
Water from water main break on Sunset rushes down North Olive Drive.
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Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
5 years ago

Steve – maybe because other streets were already already more crowded than usual? maybe because the city preferred not to have folks going down sidestreets (which can confuse a lot of unfamiliar people)? maybe because the reduced traffic on Sunset this weekend could be accomodated on Sunset then turning at La Cienega?

I assume the right people are in charge and made decisions logically and the overall picture, understanding that whatever they did would lead to criticism, as it always does.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
5 years ago

Saturday morning I rode my bike up Sunset which is closed between Sweetzer and La Cienega. There is a huge gaping hole in the middle of Sunset so don’t make plans to visit that area of the Strip. Of course if you are traveling east on Sunset you won’t see any signage warning of a street closure until you hit La Cienega. If you are traveling west, traffic traffic is being directed down Sweetzer. Who is in charge here? Why is there no signage warning people of the street closure until you are stuck in gridlock? Hopefully this will be… Read more »

WeHoVaudivillian
WeHoVaudivillian
5 years ago

Tom, not “Tome”. Though, he is a bit voluminous

WeHoVaudivillian
WeHoVaudivillian
5 years ago

Its”Jane Galbraith”. She used work for Tome Labonge and the LATimes

Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
5 years ago

As of 4:30pm Sunset is closed b/w La Cienega & Crescent Heights, Fountain from Sweetzer to La Cienega. Complete gridlock in much of the city, east, west and south.