City crews were working to ensure water quality standards Saturday after a busted 24-inch water main in South Los Angeles displaced 41 people, damaged homes and caused extensive street flooding, leaving several parked vehicles fully or partially buried in mud.
About 75 households were still without water Saturday due to the break, which was reported at 5 a.m. Friday at 55th Street and Towne Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Crews were replacing a valve and performing flushing and disinfection work, which should take about 48 hours, the utility reported. Workers cut out the damaged section of pipe and lowered a new pipe into the ground overnight, allowing the gas company to complete the replacement of a gas main.
Affected customers were given access to bottled water and portable toilets. The displaced residents, with assistance from the Red Cross, were fed and bused to a hotel for the night. Services were also available at the Fred Roberts Recreation Center.
Crews shut down the flow of water shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, but not before streets, yards and driveways were flooded, causing a large sinkhole.
The DWP reported that four vehicles sustained serious damage, despite the leak being substantially slowed two hours after the break was reported.
“The shutdown process for the 24-inch diameter pipe had to be done carefully so as to not damage other pipes in the area,” according to an LADWP statement.
“Water system crews and water quality staff have determined that due to loss of pressure in the ruptured pipe that it must be disinfected in order to ensure the highest water quality standards. This process takes up to 48 hours to complete. As a result, crews have distributed bottled water to area residents this (Friday) evening as well as placed large water stations in the area to assist residents with household water and sanitary needs until water service can be safely restored.”
Sections of 55th and 56th streets were closed to traffic between Main Street and Avalon Boulevard. Firefighters assisted some residents in getting out of their homes past the water that flooded their driveways and yards.
“The leak has caused property damage in the area, which will be assessed by on-site claim agents,” the LADWP said.
Those whose vehicles were towed were directed to call US Towing at (323) 870-7100. They are located at 2119 E. 25th St. and no charge will be assessed.
Information on how affected customers can file a damage claim with LADWP is available at www.ladwpnews.com/information-on-how-to-file-a-claim.