San Diego gas leak: Repairs continue, dozens in Mission Valley still without gas service

Posted at 5:02 AM, Mar 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-08 13:42:23-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Crews are continuing to work Thursday to repair a ruptured gas line in the Mission Valley area that shut down a major San Diego freeway for hours and led to the evacuation of nearby homes and businesses the day before.

San Diego Gas & Electric officials told 10News that at least 900 residents in the area near Friars Road in Mission Valley are without gas and hot water as of 9 a.m. Thursday. The utility also said about 80 businesses at Fashion Valley Mall were still without gas service.

10News learned all restaurants at Fashion Valley Mall are among the businesses without gas service, but officials are hoping to restore service by noon at the earliest.

SDG&E officials said gas service should return to several mall stores when the mall opens at 10 a.m.

Officials said they did not have an estimated time of full gas service restoration and also noted the effort to repair the broken pipe is a "very time-consuming" process.

RELATED: Gas main break prompts SR-163 closure in Mission Valley

Just before 11 a.m. Wednesday, construction crews working on a freeway project accidentally severed a 22-inch-diameter gas line near the corner of Friars Road and Ulric Street.

Sky10 footage showed the broken line spewing gas into the air, prompting officials to immediately close state Route 163 in both directions between Interstate 8 and Interstate 805.

Other closures included:
-- Genesee Ave. and Mesa College Dr. onramps to southbound SR-163
-- Westbound and eastbound I-8 ramps to northbound SR-163
-- Friars Rd., between Fashion Valley Mall and Frazee Rd.

The road closures led to a massive traffic jam in the area that led to congestion on other freeways and surface streets that lasted well into the evening commute.

RELATED: Interactive map shows impactx of gas leak

By approximately 3 p.m., at least 3,000 people from about 1,000 homes were ordered to evacuate as crews worked to cap the gas leak. All stores at Fashion Valley Mall and on the mall's property were also told to evacuate.

Additionally, child pickup at nearby Fletcher Elementary School and child care facility Vine Infant Center were impacted by the road closures and evacuation orders.

After letting the gas line "bleed out," SDG&E officials said crews were able to stop the leak shortly after 6 p.m., and at about 8 p.m., all affected surface streets and freeway lanes were reopened to traffic.

All evacuation orders were lifted shortly thereafter.

No injuries were reported in relation to the gas line break.