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Crews work overtime to fix water main

September 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Repair crews are working overtime on Sunday trying to fix the water main and repair the street, before the Tuesday morning commute.A number of people were forced to evacuate their homes late Saturday night when water from a broken water main came rushing in.

The break happened just after 10:30 p.m. on Coldwater Canyon at Dickens Street near Ventura Boulevard. More than 120 firefighters moved in and found deep flooding, 3 or 4-feet deep in some places, with cars being swept down the street.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was at the scene on Sunday getting a firsthand look at the broken water main. He was also able to see some of the damage up close by going into one of the homes that was hardest hit by the flood of water.

Crews have been working hard to repair the broken water main and residents are also working to clean up the mess that the water left behind.

"It was gushing out 10 to 15 feet high," said homeowner Robert Lee. "It was making a beeline for our property."

The powerful flood damaged dozens of homes and businesses as owners were left to clean up the mess.

"I have pieces of furniture that are 300 pounds that floated into the middle of the store," store owner Janet Berolus told Eyewitness News.

One person ended up trapped in his car, surrounded by the water, and had to be rescued by firefighters.

"Some cars made it, one car almost went right into the hole," said stranded driver Mike Monfared.

No injuries have been reported, but an evacuation center has been set up at Robert Millikan Middle School at 5041 Sunnyslope Ave., in Sherman Oaks.

It took crews about four hours to shut off the massive flow.

The main carries water from one reservoir to another, but doesn't supply water to people's homes or any businesses. DWP officials said there will not be any loss of service.

Ventura Boulevard was closed between Whitsett and Fulton avenues but is now back open. Officials said Coldwater Canyon, south of Ventura will be closed for two to three days.

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