Part of a major route between between the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles was closed early Friday after a crash that led to mud flowing across the road.
The crash on Coldwater Canyon Avenue damaged a vacuum breaker, which allows air to be removed from water mains. The damaged equipment caused water and mud, ankle-deep in some areas, to flow onto the road, which is usually jammed with traffic during the weekday morning drive.
Instead of cars on the road, people were walking down the middle of the mud-coated lanes.
"It's like the zombie apocalypse," said Studio City resident Devin Pio. "I've never seen Coldwater so quiet at this time on a Friday morning."
More than a half-mile stretch of Coldwater Canyon Avenue was closed in Studio City between Ventura Boulevard and Avenida Del Sol until about midday.
Crews with dump trucks and front-end loaders were clearing for most of the morning, forcing drivers to use alternate routes between the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles basin.
Some students at Harvard-Westlake School on Coldwater Canyon Avenue left early after hearing about the closure.