LOS ANGELES (CBS SF) – Cleanup was underway in Los Angeles Wednesday after millions of gallons of water flooded the normally quiet UCLA campus during summer break, forcing first responders to rescue people trapped in a nearby parking garage.
The rupture of the 93-year-old water main buckled asphalt and cracked Sunset Boulevard, shooting water 30 feet into the air. During the rupture, 35,000 gallons of water gushed every minute, severely damaging a portion of the UCLA Campus.
A nearby parking garage housing 200 cars was searched, and five trapped people were rescued by a swift boat water rescue team.
“They got swept off their feet and with the current that was pushing they got trapped underneath their car,” said Capt. Jamie Moore of the L.A. County Fire Department.
It took crews 3.5 hours to shut the water off, and they faced tough questions on what took so long.
“It’s not the easiest place to get to at rush hour,” said James McDaniel of the L.A. Dept. of Water and Power.
Authorities say they needed to find the correct valve to shut off to avoid shutting down service to the wrong neighborhood.
In the end, 8 to 10 million gallons of water washed away forever in a state dealing with a historic drought.