A day after a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokeswoman told the Weekly that all the subterranean water-system carnage that's happened over the week is “normal,” another pipe burst, closing Melrose Boulevard near Fairfax Avenue and sending water rushing into a nearby — gasp! — Ed Hardy shop.
The 8-incher gave way about 1:40 a.m., causing parts of Melrose near Ogden Drive to buckle, and forcing officials to close Melrose, according to KTLA. The Ed Hardy store, a record shop and an actor's studio were flooded.
The station calls it the seventh water main break in the city since a massive “trunk” line in Studio City gave way Sept. 5. KTLA also reports that the DWP is looking into flooding near Beechwood Drive and Fountain Avenue in Hollywood. That could be number eight.
DWP spokeswoman Kim Hughes told us that the number of main breaks over the last week is normal given that the department deals with 200 ruptures and 1,400 other pipe-related calls each year. She said the news media just happens to be hyper aware of the city's aging water system as a result of the huge breach on Coldwater Canyon Avenue near Ventura Boulevard last Saturday.
That break sent cars adrift, flooded businesses and closed Coldwater until at least tomorrow. A series of breaches have happened since then, including two yesterday — one in the 500 block of La Jolla Avenue in Carthay Square and another in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood of South Los Angeles.
Normal or not, we don't ever recall so much flooding in September. Are the aging pipes beneath the city — the main in Studio City is 95 years old — falling like dominoes? The city council is keeping an eye on the water system to make sure we don't end up in Atlantis any time soon.
Hopefully one day we'll recount how this era of “normal” catalyzed a serious revamping of the city's brittle subterranean infrastructure. At least one good thing will have come of it: wet and damaged Ed Hardy douche-wear.