Residents remain evacuated as PG&E works to stop San Jose gas leak

ByAmy Hollyfield and Dustin Dorsey KGO logo
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Evacuation order extended for gas leak in San Jose
An evacuation order in San Jose has been extended as PG&E crews work to repair pipes that are leaking natural gas.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In San Jose, an evacuation perimeter is still set around Race Street where crews are still working to fix a busted pipe that led to a gas leak yesterday.

Around 10 a.m. Wednesday, PG&E says a third-party contractor used mechanical equipment in a marked area where they should not have and ruptured a gas line along Race Street.

The leak led to an evacuation of more than 100 residents in the area.

"A third-party contractor hit one eight-inch steel line," PG&E Spokesperson Mayra Tostado said. "However, that line is connected to other lines that needed to be isolated so that we can fully stop the flow of gas."

PG&E tells ABC7 News that crews are digging at several locations to vent out the gas... other pipes near the one that ruptured are being secured to prevent further leaks.

Six distribution lines run to the ruptured pipe, five of those lines have been safely secured according to PG&E Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, residents have been out of their homes since 4 p.m. Wednesday many telling us they left without basic necessities.

"They didn't tell us much," Joseph Suffoletti said. "They said grab what you could and get out. I grabbed the dogs, but I didn't grab our meds or food for the dogs or a change of clothes, so it's a little inconvenient."

The evacuated residents were set up at the evacuation center at Bascom Community Center while crews worked to solve the problem.

They say it has been challenging, first it's the pandemic, then smoky skies with bad air quality and now this.

"It's not safe right now and I understand that," Robert Kelley said. "But, just on top of everything else with the pandemic and everything else going on in my life, it's just another day of trouble."

So when exactly will residents be able to return back to their homes?

PG&E says they do not have a set time as of now.

"We are working safely and as quickly as possible to stop the flow of gas on that final line," Tostado said. "We hope to get that done by today. Again, our most important priority is making sure that we keep our customers and our workers safe."

Tostado says that the incident remains under investigation, but the third-party contractor involved may be held responsible for damages.

Police remain on scene escorting some residents to their homes if they need certain belongings.