Sinkhole swallows 2 trucks after water main break floods South LA streets

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LOS ANGELES — A river ran through South Los Angeles after a water main break, causing a giant sinkhole that swallowed at least two trucks and forced several families from their homes.

Street flooding in the 300 block of East 55th Street was first reported at about 4:55 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The break originated from a 24-inch cast iron pipe at 55th Street near San Pedro.

The flood of water caused a sinkhole to form in front of one home, swallowing at least two pickup trucks. Neighbors feared a third would also go in. Los Angeles Department of Water officials said repairs will take anywhere from 18 to 24 hours to complete, but they expect residents should be able to go home by Saturday afternoon.

At 7:20 a.m., firefighters were called in to help move more than a dozen nearby residents as rising waters began to threaten several homes.

No injuries have been reported and 75 homes are without water. LADWP crews are on the scene, but neighbors said water gushed for hours before they arrived.

“When you have this much moving energy in a 24-inch water main, you have to shut it down slowly, otherwise, it could have reverberations throughout the systems,” LADWP’s Eric Shavely said.

Dozens of residents remained without running water Friday night.

Crews were bringing in portable showers and water tanks for those affected. The water was expected be back on Sunday.

The 1922-era pipe was not on the among those LADWP was planning to replace. Residents say they did complain about a leak on the street on Tuesday, but LADWP officials said it had nothing to do with Friday’s water main break.

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