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“Massive” River of Water Rushes Down WeHo Streets After Main Break

An overnight water main break sent thousands of gallons of water rushing down the streets of West Hollywood Sunday morning, damaging at least four businesses on Santa Monica Boulevard.

The break occurred just after 4 a.m. in the 1100 block of North Formosa Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Supervisor Miguel Ornelas said.

"I woke up at about 5 in the morning and it was like 'The Poseidon Adventure' outside," said one resident.

Water gushed into underground parking garages, storming both sidewalks and streets. At least six vehicles, including a Porche and motorcycle, were submerged inside the parking garage of a building on North Formosa Avenue, officials said.

"We had massive amounts of water running down onto Santa Monica," fire Capt. Trey Espy said.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers were on scene and shut the water off after nearly two hours, at 5:52 a.m., Ornelas said.

Water was shut off for 20 people on Formosa Avenue between Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Avenue, DWP spokeswoman Terry Schneider said. Service was restored by Sunday evening.

An 80-year-old, 12-inch pipe broke, officials said.

The street is familiar with water main breaks -- water gushed out of a broken main near the same intersection in 2013, and residents of the building flooded Sunday said they were hit by flooding in that incident as well.

"You're watching how much water you use when you brush your teeth and then you come out in the street and see everything that's going on," said resident Joe Sutton.

In the past, the city has shelled out tens of thousands of dollars to pay for damages, neighbors said.

"Three years ago we lost eight cars, and they (the city) pay, but it's cheaper I guess for them to replace our cars than it is to get them to replace the whole line," said the owner of the complex, Andrew Falk.

NBC4's Gadi Schwartz and Melissa Etezadi contributed to this report.

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