Some Residents Allowed Home As Work Continues to Repair Busted Water Main

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Some of the residents displaced by the rupture of a 24-inch water main have gotten the OK to return home as work continues to repair the breach, according to officials with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

As of late Saturday, five of the eight properties damaged by the water main break had been designated safe to access, and residents were given the option of returning to those homes, DWP officials said.

Meanwhile, the agency continues to provide lodging and meals for residents who need housing or prefer not to return home until their water service is restored and determined safe to drink.

The water main break was initially reported at 5 a.m. Friday at 55th Street and Towne Avenue, causing flooding and a large sinkhole, damaging homes and leaving some vehicles fully or partially buried in mud.

Crews shut down the flow of water shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, but not before streets, yards and driveways were flooded.

Overnight crews continued to backfill the break, increase the water pressure and begin tests to ensure that the water meets the highest water quality standards before service is restored. Initial test results are expected as early as today. Then, a second test will be conducted, and if it meets water quality standards, the mainline can be returned to service Monday afternoon, the DWP said.

About 75 households were still without water as of Saturday, due to the break, officials said.

Affected customers have been given access to bottled water and portable toilets. The displaced residents, with assistance from the Red Cross, were fed and bused to a hotel for the night. Services were also available at the Fred Roberts Recreation Center.

The DWP reported that four vehicles sustained serious damage, despite the leak being substantially slowed two hours after the break was reported.

“The shutdown process for the 24-inch diameter pipe had to be done carefully so as to not damage other pipes in the area,” according to an LADWP statement.

“Water system crews and water quality staff have determined that due to loss of pressure in the ruptured pipe that it must be disinfected in order to ensure the highest water quality standards. This process takes up to 48 hours to complete. As a result, crews have distributed bottled water to area residents this (Friday) evening as well as placed large water stations in the area to assist residents with household water and sanitary needs until water service can be safely restored.”

Sections of 55th and 56th streets were closed to traffic between Main Street and Avalon Boulevard. Firefighters assisted some residents in getting out of their homes past the water that flooded their driveways and yards.

“The leak has caused property damage in the area, which will be assessed by on-site claim agents,” the DWP said.

Those whose vehicles were towed were directed to call US Towing at (323) 870-7100. They are located at 2119 E. 25th St. and no charge will be assessed.

Information on how affected customers can file a damage claim with LADWP is available at www.ladwpnews.com/information-on-how-to-file-a-claim.

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