Gas was restored Fashion Valley mall by Thursday afternoon, more than a day after a ruptured pipeline prompted the shopping center and thousands of surrounding residents to evacuate.
San Diego Gas & Electric officials said crews had turned their attention to restoring service to 900 residential customers. As of 9 p.m., 400 of those customers had their service back on.
Crews had worked through overnight into Thursday to repair the 20-inch natural gas pipeline that was damaged by a CalTrans contractor working near Friars Road and state Route 163 on Wednesday morning.
On Thursday, workers cut and capped the problem pipeline. But the fix in place is only temporary, the utility said. Officials have not yet identified a permanent repair plan.
After the rupture, the pipeline spewed gas for hours, prompting a five-mile stretch of SR-163 to be closed for most of the day. Firefighters and officers also went door-to-door and reverse 911 calls were used to evacuate thousands of homes and businesses within a half-mile from the leaking pipeline.
SDG&E crews got a handle on the leak around 7 p.m. Wednesday, allowing evacuations to be lifted and the freeway to reopen soon after.
Repairs began about 45 minutes later.
Once gas is restored, SDG&E workers will reignite customers’ pilot lights.
“There is no higher priority than the safety of everyone in the area and our crews when dealing with these kinds of emergencies,” an SDG&E spokesperson said in a statement. “We appreciate the continued patience of all of those impacted by this situation.”
10:05 p.m.: This story was updated to say that of the 900 residential customers without service, 400 had their service back on.
4:55 p.m.: This story was updated with information that a temporary fix was in place. It was originally posted at 11:20 a.m.