At 3:30 p.m. yesterday, a 90-year-old water main near UCLA ruptured, resulting in a 30-foot geyser that inundated portions of Sunset Boulevard and the college campus. The appropriate valve wasn't located and shut off until 7 p.m., at which point 8 million to 10 million gallons of water had been lost on the streets of Westwood.
Students were seen removing their shoes and wading through water. Others, clearly wishing to make the most of the opportunity, showed up towing boogie boards.
Although the cause for the rupture has yet to be determined, the Los Angeles Times reports that the event created a 15-foot sinkhole on Sunset Boulevard and flooded many famous UCLA venues, including the John Wooden Center and Pauley Pavilion, home of the men's and women's Bruins basketball teams.
"Unfortunately, UCLA was the sink for this water source,” UCLA chancellor Gene Block said of the flooding. "It’s painful."
It's also painful to California as a whole that this needless waste of the state's most valuable commodity should happen during one of the worst droughts in its history.