Damaged Cars Retrieved After Flooding Near UCLA

Damaged Cars Retrieved After Flooding Near UCLA

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West Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 /CNS) The owners of vehicles damaged at UCLA parking garages by last week's flood are expected to begin retrieving them today.

The university announced Monday that it has established a loan-assistance program for students and staff whose vehicles were damaged.

Information on the program is available the Campus Human Resources website at www.chr.ucla.edu.

Sunset Boulevard was reopened Monday, six days after being closed down by a 20-million-gallon flood that resulted from a water main rupture and also inundated parts of the UCLA campus.

Roughly 900 vehicles were stranded in garages No. 4 and No. 7 at UCLA after the pipe break. Most of them remained dry but about 400 were left in standing water to varying depths. A fleet of tow trucks ferried the cars to another parking lot at the south end of the campus starting Friday.

Water-damaged vehicles were first inspected by DWP insurance adjusters before leaving the parking structures.

Owners of non-damaged vehicles began picking up their vehicles last week, but owners of vehicles that were water-logged are expected to begin claiming them today. The most seriously damaged vehicles were taken to an area near Jackie Robinson Stadium on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus.

The post-rupture repairs involved the placement of 400 tons of sand and 540 tons of crushed aggregate base into the sinkhole scoured out on Sunset Boulevard by the million gallons of Owens Valley water that flowed from the 92-year-old pipes a week ago today, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and power.

But street repairs are not quite complete.

"Motorists will be required to travel at reduced speeds this week on the affected part of the street,'' Mayor Eric Garcetti said when he announced the reopening of Sunset at !:30 a.m. Monday. "Additionally, this section of Sunset Boulevard will be closed during the overnight hours on Friday Aug. 8, Saturday Aug. 9 and if necessary Sunday Aug. 10 so city crews can work on final repairs.''

The mayor said residents who experienced property damage should visit www.ladwp.com/claims or call (213) 367-4600 "for the latest information and forms.'' He said the DWP recommends that car owners go through their insurance companies and the DWP will work with insurance companies to waive deductibles.

The damage to the floor of UCLA's Pauley Pavilion prompted the Teen Choice Awards, scheduled for Sunday, to relocate to the Shrine Auditorium, organizers said.

The floors should be replaced under Pauley and the John Wooden Center by early November, UCLA officials said.

"I am very happy to learn that Pauley Pavilion will be ready for the UCLA men's and women's basketball season,'' Garcetti said.

From Sandra Endo:

Owners of water damaged vehicles can begin to pick up their cars today at the Jackie Robinson Stadium, a week since the massive water main break on Sunset that flooded two parking structures at UCLA.

The cars show obvious water level marks and caked on dirt and debris. Inside some vehicles, seats are waterlogged and instruments are impossible to see due to dirt and moisture.

UCLA set up a loan assistance program for students and staff who have been affected and DWP adjusters inspected each of the 340 water damaged cars before they were towed out of the flooded parking structures.

These vehicles were parked on the lower levels of parking lots 4 and 7 which were flooded with the 20 million gallons of water from the pipe break.

In total, roughly 900 cars were parked in those structures. Most were unaffected and owners of those cars started picking up their vehicles last Friday.

Owners of damaged cars are urged to contact their insurers and go to the LA DWP website.

From Christine O'Donnell:

One after another, after another, people are coming to Lot 36 on Ventura and Wilshire to pick up their vehicles Friday

Hundreds of cars have been stuck in parking structures #4 and #7 after a watermain on Sunset Blvd  burst Tuesday, flooding two parking structures and five buildings, including the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.

“I just talked to my insurance company and they said they'd take care of all the damages,” Analyst for UCLA A.K. Munaim said as he was waiting to see if his car was in fact okay.

Alan Lebetkin says he works in the UCLA library.

“I was parked on an incline just out of the water level, also I was on the top level so I think most of the water kept going down,” Lebetkin said.

He's taking pictures of his car for his insurance company “just in case,” Alan said.

“It starts,” Lebetkin said after turning the key in the ignition.

Since morning, towing companies have been moving the cars from,  the once flooded structures, to Lot 36, notifying their owners with an email.

“I'm very excited,” Kristina Brachna said as she and her and her family walked toward their car. She says they were visiting the college from central California when the flooding happened and had to buy new clothes, toiletries, etc, while they waited to get their vehicle back.

“Luckily we have some family here, but we're very happy to have our car back,” Brachna said.

But, when she started the ignition she wasn't so lucky. “Now it won't start...noooo,” Brachna said.

And, unfortunately, it looks like she, along with others whose vehicles are still in the parking structures will have to keep waiting.

Also today, UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero says the entire wood floor of Pauley Pavilion will be replaced with a “state-of-the-art” court, which is expected to be ready by the end of October. The UCLA men's basketball team is scheduled to play an exhibition game at teh area on Oct. 31st.


Crowdfunding to help students, staff and faculty cover transportation expenses

LADWP Claims

FOX 11 / AP) Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the 20 million gallons that inundated the campus.Workers were reinforcing the excavated 56-by-41-foot crater and making the site safe for crews, said Mike Miller, district superintendent for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Meanwhile, workers off-site were fashioning new valves and a Y-joint connector to replace the burst section of the century-old steel line.

The Department of Water and Power said work on the pipe itself was expected to be completed late Friday or early Saturday. Then work could begin on repairing the famed boulevard, a heavily traveled east-west thoroughfare, pushing reopening well into the weekend.

"There's still just a lot of work to do out here," Miller said. "We're still shooting to have this done, at least the repair to the main by Friday."

UCLA officials said six facilities were damaged in Tuesday's flooding.

About 960 vehicles were trapped in garages, with many below water left behind by the roiling flood. On Thursday night removal began of about 270 cars that were on upper levels and not damaged by water.

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

The flooding sent water cascading into the Pauley Pavilion, less than two years after a $136 million renovation.

UCLA Vice Chancellor Kelly Schmader said 8 to 10 inches of water covered the basketball court, and it showed signs of buckling. The floor will be repaired or replaced as necessary and will be ready by the start of the basketball season this fall, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said.

On Wednesday evening, six men helping to pump water from the pavilion were treated for exposure to carbon monoxide from a generator's exhaust, city fire spokeswoman Katherine Main said. Two were taken to a hospital in fair condition, and four were treated at the scene.

Department of Water and Power 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.

The 30-inch steel main was gushing 1,000 gallons a minute Wednesday before it was shut off completely in the evening.

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 occurred amid a drought 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.

From Sandra Endo:

Crews are working around to clock in the aftermath of Tuesday's massive water main break near UCLA.

Early Friday morning tow trucks continued to move cars out of parking lot 4 on campus, which was one of the structures partially submerged by the nearly 10 million gallons of water that spewed from the ruptured line.

Some 960 cars have been stuck in two lots since the incident, as of Thursday night 268 undamaged vehicles were moved from lot 4 to lot 36. Students will be able to get their cars back starting at 10am Friday morning by bringing proof of ownership.

Workers are still trying to get to nearly 700 cars still in the mud.

UCLA officials say they believe at least 400 of the remaining vehicles are inoperable. The condition of 300 others is unknown.

To get more information in the cars, owners can go to the transportation section of UCLA's website.

DWP says workers continue to work to get the closed portion of Sunset Blvd. reopened as soon as possible. One DWP official says that could happen as early as Friday night but may take longer.

Update From Hal Eisner: The cleanup continues at UCLA after Tuesday's water main break sent 20 million gallons of water onto the UCLA campus causing all kinds of damage. And, as DWP workers are continuing to make repairs to the broken main, they are saying it may not be before Sunday before Sunset Boulevard can reopen. Meanwhile, on campus cars are finally starting to be pulled out of flooded parking lots.

It started around 7:30pm Thursday night. The first cars stranded by flood waters being removed from parking lot 4 by about a half-a-dozen tow trucks. But, the first bunch are the cars that weren't damaged. Some 267 of them. As they came out there was no evidence of water or mud damage, but there are 100s of others stuck in a muddy mess according to UCLA spokesman Tod Tamberg who says "We estimate that between the two lots there are 400 cars that are inoperable due to water damage." He described the lower level of parking lot 4 as a muddy mess saying "it looks like a lot of mud, a lot of silt, some trucnks are popped open from the water damage."

Bing Bing Sun says his Jetta is down there. He's just hoping it's not one of the damaged ones. To the UCLA post-doctoral researcher, "It's a to all the UCLA Bruins.")

Gina Vrdoljak 's car is down there too. She reflected on Tuesday's water main break saying "It's really scary. At the moment I was at work. I just got out of class when it happened and I was freaking out." Her fiance Michael Bennett ran down the stairs of the parking structure the day the water main broke. He took video of the rushing water and parking structure where Gina's new mustang was parked. You could hear him say on the video: "my feet are in about 4 inches of water heading down to the level where Gina's car is."

During our interview he added that he "had to walk through about 3 feet of water to get to it, but when I got to it I could see it was at a higher elevation." That's why the two believe her car is okay. They want it now and not towed.

Says UCLA Sr. Vrdoljak, "I'm just frustrated that nobody is giving me information on what to do to get my car back. and they said I would only get it in multiple weeks and they really didn't tell me anything. And, if I don't get it towed I won't get it for a long time."

Tod Tamberg says this is a process. And, this initial couple of hundred are the first cars they could get out. "We're doing what we can," he says, "trying to mitigate the anxiety people feel who have lost their cars."

(FOX 11 / AP) A torrent of water spewed from a nearly century-old pipe that burst in Los Angeles, shutting down a section of Sunset Boulevard and inundating the campus of UCLA. Here are some of the numbers behind Tuesday's rupture:- Some 20 million gallons had spilled from the pipe before the flow was stopped late Wednesday night. At its peak on Tuesday, the pipe was spewing 75,000 gallons a minute and it was still putting out 1,000 gallons a minute a day later. Officials say it will take at least another 48 hours to complete repairs.

- The water main is a 30-inch riveted steel pipe that delivers water at a high velocity from Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir. It was installed in 1921.

- About 960 vehicles were in two subterranean garages that flooded, and many were totally submerged, UCLA says.

- The amount of water that spilled is enough to fill more than 1,000 average-sized backyard swimming pools, or more than 400,000 bathtubs.

- It's enough water to serve more than 100,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers in a single day.

- When the pipe is operational, water flow is estimated at 75,000 gallons a minute.

- The Department of Water and Power's aging, 7,200-mile water system provides approximately 500 million gallons of water to customers each day.

- In 2009, a team of analysts found 90 percent of the department's ruptures happened in cast-iron pipes that were corroded.

- When Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state drought emergency in January, he asked California residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 percent.

Authorities say 6 people who were helping clean up UCLA's flooded Pauley Pavilion are being treated for exposure to carbon monoxide. The arena's court was covered with up to 10 inches of water Tuesday after a 30-inch water main broke nearby and sent water cascading onto campus.

Los Angeles fire spokeswoman Katherine Main says the men were helping pump water out of the home of UCLA's basketball team when they fell ill from generator exhaust Wednesday evening.

Two were taken to the hospital in fair condition and four were treated at the scene. Main says all of them were alert and breathing.

She says the equipment was turned off and the building was aired out.

There's no word yet on whether the de-watering operation has resumed.

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