Flooding in Ladera Heights closes major route to LAX

La Cienega reopened around 3:30pm just in time for the afternoon rush hour after being shut down all day.

Reports of flooding along La Cienega near La Tijera Boulevard started flooding in just before 6am Friday morning.

More than 2 feet of water covered the roadway, a major cut-through to LAX causing traffic tie ups in an already congested area.

"I was wondering why traffic was so heavy... It's such an inconvenience this time of year." said Pamela Calvert.

Los Angeles county owns the catch basins that feed into its 51 inch storm drain.

Los Angeles city streets and sanitation manager Gerald Watson said county workers were initially dispatched to the scene but crews struggled to fix the problem and the street remained closed all morning long.

Watson says he didn't hear about the flooding until 10 am and sent city workers who arrived around 11:30.

"Drains plugging up all over the city... So we respond to emergency calls all over the place... And we just got over here when we could." said Watson.

South division crews would normally handle that area, but those workers had the day off so crews from West LA had to cover.

Using pumping trucks and other equipment, it took city crews nearly four hours to pinpoint and finally unclog the drains which were stopped up with gravel and car parts.

As for criticism about not getting to the scene more quickly. Watson said,

"We'll be getting together talking to all the agencies involved... All the sister agencies and make sure this doesn't happen again."