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Broken water main floods Topanga Canyon Boulevard

September 17, 2009 |  4:17 pm


Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Canoga Park was shut down during the busy afternoon commute today after yet another broken water main flooded the street and sent dirty brown water pouring into nearby businesses.

The break — the fourth major gusher this week — occurred just before 3 p.m. in a 12-inch pipe under Topanga near Victory Boulevard.

Topanga is a major state highway connecting the 101 and 118 freeways, and some city officials predicted traffic chaos. Councilman Dennis P. Zine, who represents the area, said he wants the city Department of Water and Power to figure out what is going on beneath the streets — and fast.

Earlier this week, DWP officials said the city had been experiencing significantly more “major blowouts” in water pipes in the last three months. They said they don’t yet know why. In recent days, broken water mains have flooded portions of Studio City, created a sinkhole in Valley Village so big it almost swallowed a firetruck and flooded streets and damaged property around the city.

“Why is this happening?” Zine said. “We need to get answers.... Every day we hear of another one breaking.” The latest break cut water to about 50 customers, according to DWP officials.

It follows breaks earlier this week in the same area, including one on Corbin Avenue in Warner Center and another on Burbank Boulevard in Winnetka.

“It looks like a filthy, brown river,” said Shawn James, 43, who drove by the intersection about 3 p.m. and said he noticed water gushing out of a hole in the middle of the pavement.

—Jessica Garrison

Photo: Workers monitor a broken water main on Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Canoga Park.

Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times


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