Water main break floods businesses, closes part of La Brea Avenue in Mid-City

MID-CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A clean up was underway Friday night along a busy Mid-City street after a water main flooded streets and damaged businesses during a storm.

The eruption of water broke out in the middle of La Brea Avenue, just as an already wet commute was starting.

"Out of nowhere the floor just went up and the water just went up, so I was like 'wow,'" said Ivan Cho, an employee at La Brea Liquors.

Workers in La Brea Liquors soon ended up with several inches of water inside the store. An insurance company two doors down had to board up a window after it was blown out by pieces of the roadway that went flying through it by the force of the water.

Around 50 customers were left without water and traffic had to be shut down on the roadway after the 12-inch cast iron main blew. It was installed in 1923, and it wasn't the first time the 95-year-old stretch of pipes failed.

There was another break in almost the exact same spot Thursday morning.

"It's not exactly extremely rare for this to happen this way, it's just a really old main," said Mike Taylor of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Taylor said it likely wasn't Thursday's work that caused Friday's blowout, but rather turning the water off then back on can put stress on the system and cause it to blow again.

When asked if the pipes would burst again for a third time, Taylor said it's unlikely.

The LADWP said those without water should be able to get service back by Saturday morning. The southbound side of La Brea Avenue is expected to remain closed well into Saturday.
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