Photo Credit: Eric Leonard (@leonardfiles)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hundreds of cars submerged below murky water. A landmark basketball court, newly refurbished, showing signs of buckling. Soaked and stained carpets. An athletic track coated in mud.

Damage costs have yet to be pegged from the rupture of a pipeline that spewed more than 20 million gallons of water in the midst of California's worst drought in decades. But officials Wednesday were beginning to assess its soggy aftermath at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Rich Mylin, associate director of events and facilities, led a tour of affected areas for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers in hard hats, who snapped photos and took notes. 

UCLA officials said six facilities were damaged and about 960 vehicles remained trapped in garages, with many below water left behind by the roiling flood.

DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo said people who suffered damage from the flooding can file claims with the agency, which will work with UCLA on settling losses.

If a claim ends up in court, a plaintiff would have to show negligence by the agency to establish liability, said Loyola Law School law professor John Nockleby. For example, if someone could show the aging steel pipe should have been replaced long ago "that could be an indicator something should have been done about it."

The 30-inch steel main that burst Tuesday on Sunset Boulevard shot a 30-foot geyser into the air that sent water down storm drains and onto campus.

The nearly century-old pipe was still gushing 1,000 gallons a minute Wednesday before it was shut off completely in the evening. Repairs were expected to take until Friday night or Saturday morning.

At its peak, water was streaming out of the break at a rate of 75,000 gallons a minute. The amount of water spilled could serve more than 100,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers for a day.

The rupture points to the risks and expense many cities face with miles of water lines installed generations ago. And it occurred as tough new state fines took effect for Californians who waste water by hosing down driveways or using a hose without a nozzle to wash their car.

Despite the break, no utility customers were without water. No injuries were reported.

Determining damages can be tricky. For example, does it make more financial sense to repair a car or cover it as a total loss? The owner might want a new vehicle, not a repair job on one that was submerged in a garage for days.

Read more on the KFI News Blog