Water Main Breaks Flood Streets In Hollywood, Pacoima & Melrose

(FOX 11) - There were three water pipe breaks in the area today. One was in Hollywood near Paramount Studios. A second happened in Pacoima. The third was on Hollywood's eastside on Vermont near Melrose.

As Maria Salas drove by the area where DWP workers were repairing the broken 12 inch main she screamed at them. "I'm very angry. Our children need this water," she yelled. It was the drought and the water crisis running through her mind as thousands of gallons of water cascaded onto the streets around Vermont.

It poured into subterranean garages flooding cars. We saw people walking in water, driving thru it and even using buckets to try to get it out of the street.

When asked some neighbors told us "This is, like, ridiculous," and "It's bad". Bernice Ramos and her mom said it was very frustrating and scary as water surrounded their home, one of their cars and generally made things muddy and messy.

DWP's John Cox said this was a bigger leak than normal. He showed us the crack in a 12-inch pipe. It was on the bottom of the pipe and sent water downward creating a hole that, in all actuality, made it easier for workers to get under the 86-year-old pipe and eyeball the problem.

The new pipe they installed made of iron, but officials say it's newer technology than the one that broke. They feel pretty confident it'll last about a 100 years and residents in the area are hoping it does!

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About 3:15 a.m. in Hollywood, a break in an 8-inch main was reported at Melrose Avenue and Gower Street, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported.

About that same time, a break was reported near Paxton Street and Foothill Boulevard in the Lake View Terrace area, according to the LADWP.

And about 5 a.m. in an area east of Hollywood, a break in a 12-inch main was reported at Melrose and Vermont avenues, where water flooded streets and at least one parking garage of a nearby apartment building.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, about a half-dozen vehicles were trapped by water at 625 New Hampshire Ave., and firefighters helped remove water from the area.

Crews were sent to handle the repairs.

In an unrelated incident about 4:20 a.m. in the Glassell Park area, a hydrant was sheared by a truck in the 3100 block of San Fernando Road, sending a geyser of water onto the roof of a nearby single-story building, said Erik
Scott of the LAFD.

While the firefighters were working to shut off the water, a woman told them she heard a man screaming for help from inside the building, Scott said.

Firefighters used a chain saw to force open a wooden door, and when they did so, water that had flooded the building when the roof partially collapsed came gushing out, Scott said.

The firefighters then went into the building, and carried the man -- an amputee of about 50 -- to safety, Scott said. They also rescued his cat and retrieved his prosthetic leg for him, Scott said.

Firefighters comforted the man, who was not injured, and they gave him a shirt to wear, Scott said.

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