Team 10 Update: Fallbrook woman still worried about exposed 30-inch pipe in yard

Woman says pipe is even more dangerous

SAN DIEGO - A Fallbrook woman said a 30-inch, high-pressure gas line exposed in her front yard is still unsafe even though San Diego Gas & Electric crews made improvements to the area.

Team 10 broke this story in August while crews were still working on the pipe in front of Stephanie Napoles' home on Cresta Loma Drive.

Napoles has been fighting with SDG&E to bury the pipe for two years, but the company maintains that the pipe is safe and they've gone above and beyond to prove this.

SDG&E crews just finished work on the pipe to stop erosion, but Napoles doesn't think it worked.

"It's already collapsing, and where the trees are blocking it, a piece already fell in," said Napoles.

Team 10 was there in August when SDG&E did a visual inspection of the pipe and installed rock-filled gabion baskets to protect it.

Napoles said after it rained a few weeks ago, some of the rocks fell out of the baskets and onto the pipe.

"Thank God it lightened up because everything started to collapse," said Napoles.

Napoles also said crews took out all the trees surrounding the pipe, and she's worried there will be nothing stopping a car from crashing into the gas line.

"It's more exposed so it's easier for a car to come down here now," said Napoles.

Team 10 took these new concerns to SDG&E spokeswoman Amber Albrecht.

"We can't bury the pipe because of environmental and terrain concerns. The concern is that with the watershed being in that vicinity there would be an environmental erosion type runoff," said Albrecht.

Albrecht said after seeing Team 10's original report, the company hired a licensed traffic engineer to analyze the likelihood of a vehicle coming into the span of the natural gas line and his report found the likelihood was very low.

SDG&E also applied to install a guardrail along the side of the road, but San Diego County denied the application on grounds that it wasn't needed.

Napoles said it isn't enough and she won't stop fighting to get the pipe buried.

"I want to know that car is not going to hit this pipe and I'm not going to wake up or that my neighbors are going to fry," said Napoles.

Napoles did file a lawsuit against her realtor who she said promised her the pipe would be buried when she moved in and she's considering filing a suit against SDG&E.

Team 10 has a call into San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn's office to check on the status of getting guardrail installed along the road.

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