Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Castro Street set to reopen by 6 p.m. after gas leak shutters neighborhood

Castro Street between 17th and 18th is expected to reopen by 6 p.m. today (Thursday, October 21), five hours after a ruptured gas line first caused the area to be evacuated.

Katie Romans, a PG&E spokeswoman, said crews are working to repair a 2-inch distribution line that was ruptured by a private contractor’s equipment.

Castro between 18th and 19th streets had also been shut down but have been reopened, according to Romans.

Romans said that seven customers whose service had been interrupted should have service again by 6.

The area includes a Walgreens and several restaurants and shops. Romans said it also appeared a residential customer was affected.

She said she wasn’t sure what kind of work the contractor was doing or who the contractor was.

“It’s unrelated to PG&E,” said Romans.

Asked how often such ruptures occur, Romans said, “I can’t say how common this is, but it is something that does happen from time to time.”

She said, “We try to work closely with contractors and property owners to provide them with the information they need to safely make any kind of property improvements or repairs around our equipment.”

People are encouraged to phone the statewide 811 “Call Before You Dig” line before doing any such work, said Romans.

The gas was coming out of a 2-inch plastic distribution line. Joe Molica, a PG&E spokesman who was on the scene this afternoon, said for safety reasons PG&E crews had to dig by hand to reach the line and then squeeze it off.

PG&E received its first calls about the leak around 1 p.m.

Lieutenant Mindy Talmadge, a San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman, had cautioned that this sort of accident occurs often when contractors are doing work on the city’s streets and that Castro residents need not worry of a fire breaking out similar to what occurred on the Peninsula last month.

“If it were me and my neighborhood, I would” worry as well, said Talmadge. “But this is not a transmission line; it is a service line which is smaller.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 21, 2010 @ 4:01 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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