A 100-year-old water main near the UCLA campus in Los Angeles ruptured Tuesday afternoon, spewing water into the air, stranding cars and people in underground parking structures, ABC station KABC reported.
A geyser surged from the 30-inch pipe into the middle of Sunset Boulevard. Streets on and near campus flooded as fast-moving sheets of water poured down the entrance of a parking structure, flooding the school’s storied basketball court less than two years after a major renovation.
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, considered one of college basketball’s shrines since it was built in 1965, then poured on to the court named for legendary coach John Wooden and his wife Nell. The arena underwent a $133 million renovation in 2012.
“It’s painful. It’s painful,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “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.”
Many students took the flooding in stride, walking calmly across campus with their backpacks in ankle deep water.
Some saw a chance for fun, pulling out body boards and attempting to ride down the flowing water.
No injuries have been reported.
An estimated 8 to 10 million gallons of water was lost, authorities said. The water main break came at a difficult time, as Los Angeles and much of California is suffering from one of the worst droughts in more than three decades.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.