Huge Water Main Break Floods UCLA

Home of UCLA basketball suffers major water damage

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 30, 2014 12:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Swamped in the middle of a drought: A massive water main break under Sunset Boulevard flooded parts of the UCLA campus yesterday, causing serious damage to buildings, including the school's famous Pauley Pavilion basketball arena. Millions of gallons of water flooded athletic facilities after the 93-year-old pipe broke, sending a 30-foot geyser of water into the air, reports the AP. A $136 million renovation of Pauley Pavilion was completed less than two years ago. "It's painful. It's painful," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block told reporters. "We just refurbished Pauley a few years ago. And it's a beautiful structure. It's, of course, a symbolic structure for this entire campus."

Five people had to be rescued from flooded underground parking garages, where many cars were trapped by the water, though some students tried to make the most of the flood and turned up with boogie boards, reports the Los Angeles Times. It took more than three hours to shut off the pipe, and officials believe up to 10 million gallons of water were lost. "Unfortunately, we lost a lot of water, around 35,000 gallons a minute, which is not ideal in the worst drought in the city's history, so we ask everybody to try harder to conserve water," a city councilman says. People who waste water in California can now be fined up to $500 per day.

At least an inch of water covers the playing floor at Pauley Pavilion, home of UCLA basketball, after a broken 30-inch water main under nearby Sunset Boulevard caused flooding yesterday.
At least an inch of water covers the playing floor at Pauley Pavilion, home of UCLA basketball, after a broken 30-inch water main under nearby Sunset Boulevard caused flooding yesterday.   (AP Photo/Mike Meadows)
Water reaches into the air after a water main burst on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles near UCLA yesterday.
Water reaches into the air after a water main burst on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles near UCLA yesterday.   (AP Photo/nbc4la.com)
Water reaches the main entry doors to Pauley Pavilion.
Water reaches the main entry doors to Pauley Pavilion.   (AP Photo/nbc4la.com)
People walk down a flooded stairway leading to a parking structure across from Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.
People walk down a flooded stairway leading to a parking structure across from Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.   (AP Photo/Mike Meadows)
Vehicles are inundated in several feet of water in a parking structure on the UCLA campus.
Vehicles are inundated in several feet of water in a parking structure on the UCLA campus.   (AP Photo/Mike Meadows)
One woman pulls another on a body board through water on the quad of UCLA after flooding yesterday.
One woman pulls another on a body board through water on the quad of UCLA after flooding yesterday.   (AP Photo/Mike Meadows)
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