Evacuations Ordered Near Mission Valley Gas Leak, SR-163 Closed
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Photo by Steve Walsh
For the latest information about evacuation orders, click here.
Homes and businesses, including an entire shopping mall, were evacuated and both directions of a busy freeway were shut down Wednesday after construction crews inadvertently cut through a 20-inch- diameter gas line at a Mission Valley intersection.
Everyone in a half-mile radius of the severed gas line near the corner of Friars Road and Ulric Street was told to evacuate, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Alec Phillipp said about 2:45 p.m. The intersection is just west of state Route 163, which was shut down between Interstates 8 and 805 as a result of the leak.
The evacuation order affected close to 3,300 people in 1,100 homes, Phillipp said. The entire Fashion Valley Mall was also evacuated, as were an unknown number of other businesses in the area.
Use the map below to see the area of evacuation:
Allison Torres of San Diego Gas and Electric said crews — who had been at the scene since the leak was first reported around 10:30 a.m — were still trying to contain the gas, contrary to earlier reports that the line had been capped.
"Our crews are still out there trying to identify the valves needed to control the gas," Torres said about 3:40 p.m.
Torres said there was no estimate on when the gas leak would be repaired.
Police began closing Friars Road between the Fashion Valley Mall and Frazee Road about 45 minutes after the first reports of the gas leak came in, and California Highway Patrol officers started closing SR163 between Interstates 8 and 805 soon thereafter.
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