A 93-year-old water pipe burst underneath Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles on Tuesday, sending millions of gallons of water flooding across the UCLA campus — effectively turning the iconic street into a river and the school into a water park. At least five people who were stranded in underground parking garages had to be rescued, authorities said.
In addition to creating chaos for those near the campus, the main break spawned lots of photos and videos on social media.
UCLA's recently renovated Pauley Pavilion was severely flooded, with water reaching the playing floor of the famed basketball arena.
"It's painful," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said at a news conference. "We just refurbished Pauley just a few years ago. And it's a beautiful structure. It's, of course, a symbolic structure for this entire campus." Two other buildings were damaged.
The pipe burst around 3:30 p.m., city officials said, releasing roughly 36,000 gallons of water per minute — or between 8 million and 10 million gallons of water — before it was shut off.
The water main break provided boogie-board enthusiasts a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Fire officials, though, were not amused.
“That is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do,” Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jaime Moore told the Los Angeles Times. “For somebody to try and boogie board in this, it’s just going to be an asphalt bath.”
- Pauley Pavilion