Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles turned into a dangerous river

Sunset Boulevard is a known tourism spot in Los Angeles in Southern California. Today tourists had a different kind of experience when a stretch of this famous avenue turned into a river.

Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles turned into a dangerous river

Sunset Boulevard is a known tourism spot in Los Angeles in Southern California. Today tourists had a different kind of experience when a stretch of this famous avenue turned into a river. A broken water main near the UCLA campus Tuesday sent a geyser of water some 30 feet into the air, trapping people in underground parking garages and covering some of the best-known parts of campus in water, including the school’s famed basketball arena.

The 30-inch, 93-year-old pipe that broke under nearby Sunset Boulevard made a raging river of the street and sent millions of gallons of water across the school’s athletic facilities, including the famed floor of Pauley Pavilion, as well as a pair of parking structures that took the brunt of the damage.

The arena — where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Reggie Miller and Kevin Love starred and John Wooden coached for 10 years — recently underwent a $132 million renovation that was completed in October 2012. At least an inch of water covered the floor Tuesday night, and its locker rooms were also flooded.

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The water break came amid a severe drought in California, where under new regulations residents are subject to fines up to $500 a day for wasting water.

Firefighters, some using inflatable boats, saved at least five people who were stranded in the underground parking structures.

People saw the water and started rushing down the stairwells to rescue their cars, and authorities had to keep them out as water rose up to the wheel wells of vehicles, many of which were stranded, city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

Firefighters have been searching cars in the structures to make sure nobody was still inside, Humphrey said. No injuries have been reported.

As many as 100 cars were stranded in the garages.

Fire and police officials swarmed the chaotic scene that featured helicopters hovering overhead and backpack-bearing students wading across campus in ankle-deep water. Meanwhile, some fun-seekers went in the water with body boards.

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