Homes Evacuated After Water Main Break Floods Neighborhood, Damages Street

Water flowed from the damaged street and flooded several properties in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood

Water gushed from a damaged section of street Monday morning and flooded several residential properties when a water main broke in a San Fernando Valley neighborhood.

At least two homes were evacuated because a 16-inch pipe broke near Zelzah Avenue and Karen Drive, a residential area north of the Encino Reservoir, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Los Angeles firefighters responded to the site at about 9:30 a.m. after a homeowner reported water bubbling up from the street.

Aerial video showed a whirlpool of water in a sinkhole in the street just before mid-day. Water flowed over a retaining wall and across several properties, flooding back yards and carrying debris down Karen Street.

No interior flooding was reported.

"I heard water, looked outside and everything was flooded past the pool level," a resident told NBC4.

By noon, the flow was reduced and only a small amount of water was flowing from the damaged street. By 6 p.m., crews were able to get a look at the sinkhole.

The water line was not that old, built in 1948, and crews were still unclear as to what caused the rupture so powerful it caused a 40 foot by 20 foot sinkhole. Water was shut off to some homes, impacting 50 to 60 homes. Service was expected to be repaired by 8 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

The agency reports about three breaks or leaks per day across its 7,200-mile network of pipes.

Monday's break comes more than a month after a broken pipe under Sunset Boulevard flooded UCLA's Westwood campus. An estimated 20 million gallons of water flowed onto the campus and nearby streets.

Nyree Arabian contributed to this report.

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