The break was reported at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday at Westbourne Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard. Water was spewing from asphalt crevasses, pouring directly into a sunken parking garage of a nearby apartment complex. Four parked cars were submerged and 20 apartments sustained water damage. Vehicle owners say in addition to their cars, their iPods, GPS devices, laptops and work documents were lost in the water.
Most of the water has since been drained from the street and parking lot and the water source has been shut off. However, the concern now is a sinkhole that has developed as a result of the break. Department of Water and Power crews say the hole is likely to be patched up by evening.
"We have an 8-inch water main leak. Looks like it has about a 9-foot split in the piece of pipe," said DWP worker Rick Butler.
Crews said they've taken out the broken pipe and are in the process of replacing it. Officials say the cause of the broken main was likely wear and tear; the lines were put into place in 1966.
Meantime, another water main broke around the same time Wednesday in Los Angeles. The 12-inch main broke on the 100 block of Beaudry Avenue. As a result, the northbound lane of Beaudry Avenue between First and Temple streets were closed to traffic. One apartment building was affected, but it remained unknown how many customers were without water after DWP shut off the water source.