Evacuations Lifted in Downey After Natural Gas Leak; Repairs Completed

DOWNEY (CNS) - Evacuations were lifted in Downey early this morning in a neighborhood near the site of a natural gas leak on Thursday, and repairs to the damaged line have been completed, officials said.

The leak was reported about 10:35 a.m. Thursday when Southern California Gas Company crews were alerted to a natural gas line that was apparently damaged by a third-party contractor in the area of 7800 Stewart and Gray Road near Rives Avenue, according to a SoCalGas statement.

People were evacuated from about a 300-foot radius around the area where the leak was reported, and utility crews were sent to handle the problem, the Downey Fire Department reported.

Stewart and Gray Road was closed from Paramount Boulevard to Rives Avenue due to the leak, SoCalGas said.

Utility crews stopped the flow of the natural gas about 3:05 a.m. Friday, and the evacuations were lifted about 3:40 a.m., but repair work continued and the road remained closed, SoCalGas reported.

About noon Friday, the utility reported that crews had completed the repair work, and the road closure had been lifted.

“SoCalGas reminds residents and business owners to call 811 before you dig in the garden or at a construction site,'' the utility said in a statement. “Calling 811 will avoid possible injury or damage to hidden utility lines.''

About 12:30 p.m. Thursday, a countywide notification regarding the gas leak was sent out. However, the city of Downey tweeted about 3 p.m. Thursday to explain the advisory was released using a new emergency notification system and was only intended for residents in the area.

Photo: Getty Images

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