Saturday, December 19, 2009
HOLLYWOOD - A chunk of hillside gave way this morning in a neighborhood near the Hollywood Bowl, triggered by a broken pipe, a sprinkler system, or saturation from recent rains, according to Los Angeles Fire Department officials.
The slide dumped 10 to 15 cubic yards of mud and dirt onto Los Tilos Road and moved a parked sport utility vehicle a short distance but it damaged no homes.
Whatever triggered the slide, water ran freely from a ruptured pipe on the slope for at least two hours after the slide was reported.
The slide in the 7000 block of Los Tilos Road occurred about 5:30 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Linda Chapman, 63, of Roseville, was staying in her father's former home on Los Tilos Road. She said a crashing sound awoke her and she thought it was a car wreck. When she looked outside, she saw a mound of soil and vegetation piled up against a red Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was pushed onto a sidewalk.
"I woke up my husband," she said. "I thought it was a car crash."
Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Robert Rosario said the slide appeared to have been triggered by a broken water line or a sprinkler system that might have been inadvertently left on all night.
Humphrey said it appeared a 1-inch PVC pipe, possibly a private irrigation line, ruptured. But he also raised the possibility the line may have broken as a result of the slide, rather than being the cause of it.
Rosario estimated the slide at 10 to 15 cubic yards of material. By about 6:30 a.m., firefighters thought they had stopped the flow of water, but that apparently was not the case.
The slide affected access to about two dozen homes, Humphrey said. That section of the road was closed. Stranded residents were taking taxis from the clear section of the road, Humphrey said.
A Building and Safety inspector at the scene said he was considering "yellow-tagging" a downslope home.
On scene reporting and photos by Guy McCarthy. More images here.