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Water main break floods Van Nuys streets

February 27, 2011 | 12:36 pm

Members of a Van Nuys family had to leave their home Sunday after a water main broke near their apartment building, flooding an underground garage and nearby streets.

Thousands of gallons of water spilled when the 12-inch cast iron pipe broke about 6:15 a.m. in the 14700 block of Vanowen Street, said Erik Scott, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Vanowen between Cedros Avenue and Kester Avenue remained closed while crews worked to repair the main, said Terry Schneider of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

About 150 to 200 customers were without water service, Schneider said.

Firefighters were using multiple pumps to remove water from an underground parking garage at a two-story apartment building at 14762 Vanowen St. Fifteen to 20 cars may have been damaged.

A father, mother and daughter were displaced from a unit that suffered water damage and were being  assisted by the Red Cross to find temporary shelter, Scott said.

Officials said the cast iron main was “older” but were unable to immediately determine its age or whether cold weather played a role in the break.

“Sometimes there are more main breaks when there are severe temperature fluctuations and we had some cold weather last night,” Schneider said. “But it’s not possible to tell if that was the cause.”

-- Carla Rivera