A crew of 60 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power personnel worked around the clock over the weekend, making repairs to the seven damaged panels in a lined, uncovered concrete section of the Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA) north of the Haiwee Complex, two miles south of the town of Olancha.
LADWP is working diligently to ensure repairs will hold through the next storm system and the start of runoff, which begins on April 1.
The Aqueduct breach includes three panels (about 20 feet each) that have collapsed and about four that have been undermined.
LADWP was able to divert 100% of the flow in this area by opening the Cottonwood Spill Gate and the Alabama Spill Gate, preventing any potential water damage to the town of Olancha or to U.S. Highway 395.
Due to intense rainfall throughout Owens Valley, extremely high water flows occur in creeks, canals, and roadways. There is severe damage to publicly accessible roads, highways, bridges, and LADWP infrastructure, such as canals, diversion structures, and Los Angeles Aqueduct structures.
LADWP’s Aqueduct Division activated its Water Operations Emergency Response Plan on Friday to respond to the weather emergency.
Several sections of the concrete-lined channel of LADWP’s Los Angeles Aqueduct collapsed late Friday night, approximately two miles south of Olancha. Due to the heavy rains at lower elevations, stormwater pooled on the west side of certain sections of the aqueduct channel, eroding the supporting soil and leading to damage.
The damage did not affect U.S. Highway 395 or any local communities.
LADWP reported that over the weekend, it had deployed 130 aqueduct personnel to control localized flooding, monitor dam, and aqueduct infrastructure, and support the protection of public property.
Specifically, they are supporting canal overflowing, safety surveillance of dam systems, and addressing the breach of the aqueduct near Olancha, among other localized incidents.