UPDATE: 5 hours of street closures, evacuations after gas-line break in Admiral District

10:29 AM: Seattle Fire is just arriving in the 2700 block of California SW for a potential natural-gas problem. The logged address is the construction site toward the north end of the block. They’re blocking California SW so avoid the area for a while.

10:34 AM: Puget Sound Energy is on the way; firefighters told dispatch that the break appears to be “by an excavator.” They’re monitoring air status in nearby buildings including Safeway.

10:50 AM: Our crew is there and sending photos. The California closure starts further north, as shown in our top photo – in the 2600 block. If you leave the Safeway parking lot, for example, you’ll only be allowed to turn north. The closure extends to Stevens (the PCC corner).

10:56 AM: PSE has arrived.

11:05 AM: The incident commander just told dispatch that PSE says this is a four-inch east-west line and “this will be a prolonged incident,” so they’re going to have City Light shut down power nearby.

11:17 AM: Firefighters just told dispatch they’re evacuating Safeway. (We just called PCC and so far they’re stlll open, as is West Seattle Runner [WSB sponsor] just up the block.)

11:42 AM: Not resolved yet. And for those who’ve asked, yes, that’s a TV helicopter.

12:04 PM: SFD says “all affected businesses and residences have been evacuated.”

12:43 PM: Our crew went back to the scene for updates. The leak can still be heard, so it’s not shut off yet. Meantime, as a commenter mentioned, some power’s been cut in the area. Some businesses including Safeway (whose staff was lunching in the parking lot) remain closed.

1:02 PM: We talked with SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo at the scene. He says the air quality in the area is generally OK and evacuations were done as a precaution more than anything. PSE is still working on getting the broken line shut down safely. No estimate yet on how much longer this is likely to last.

1:23 PM: A commenter asked about West Seattle High School. We went over to the office; they told us the students were sent home.

(Photo by Vy Duong)

1:55 PM: SFD is swapping out crews. We’re headed back for another update.

2:48 PM: The hissing from the break is quieter than it originally was, and SFD confirms that PSE has “reduced” the leak but not yet stopped it.

3:38 PM: SFD says PSE has stopped the leak and everything is reopening. Our crew should be back in the area in a few minutes to verify.

3:50 PM: Safeway, for one, has reopened. But the streets are not yet open again, our crew reports.

4:10 PM: Metro has resumed regular routing, which means the streets are back open.

126 Replies to "UPDATE: 5 hours of street closures, evacuations after gas-line break in Admiral District"

  • MikeRussellFoto July 12, 2021 (10:48 am)

    Can definitely smell it at Walnut and Admiral. Just closed up windows.

  • Jon July 12, 2021 (10:56 am)

    I was in the area at Hiawatha right as a construction worker cam running down California with his arms full of cones in order to block the street. You could hear the whoosh of escaping gas from the opposite corner of the Hiawatha ball field.

  • DogMom July 12, 2021 (11:00 am)

    Thanks for the update, WSB! I live a few blocks from the leak and the air reeks of gas. Hope everyone stays safe.

  • MSheppard July 12, 2021 (11:13 am)

    As always, great job of keeping everything informed. Thanks, Chief!

  • Admiral guy July 12, 2021 (11:30 am)

    And now the annoying whirly bird making circles and noise. 🙈

  • Yann July 12, 2021 (11:32 am)

    The smell was soooo strong in Hiawatha Park, yet there were still people playing baseball and tennis. I got the heck out of there and perhaps there is a news helicopter overhead now too.

  • Olivia July 12, 2021 (11:33 am)

    I live in an apartment two doors down and have not heard anything other than this. Really hope they make an effort to inform nearby tenants.

    • Fox July 12, 2021 (11:54 am)

      Hi Olivia! Yeah, I was wondering what was up with the helicopter that has been circling and came here to find out. 

      • Olivia July 12, 2021 (12:07 pm)

        Hi Neighbor! It is making for an unusual and uncertain day down the street.

    • Kris July 12, 2021 (12:25 pm)

      Same, not sure if I should evacuate or not. Can definitely smell the gas at my place. 

  • Rob July 12, 2021 (11:34 am)

    Can smell gas all the way down on Harbor Ave near 7/11

  • Heidi July 12, 2021 (11:37 am)

    At 36th & Olga and can smell it. 

  • Hello July 12, 2021 (11:37 am)

    Do you know if this is the reason for the helicopter? 

    • pdx77 July 12, 2021 (11:44 am)

      Yes, it’s the TV helicopter.  They were already in the air covering the fire in the U District.

  • kelly July 12, 2021 (11:37 am)

    is this why the helicopter?

  • Sara July 12, 2021 (11:39 am)

    Assume the helicopter we’re hearing near California & Admiral is because of the gas line?

  • Avalon Resident July 12, 2021 (11:39 am)

    Is that what the helicopter is for?

  • WSB July 12, 2021 (11:42 am)

    Yes, just the shared TV helicopter.

  • Shelby July 12, 2021 (11:44 am)

    Admiral Safeway and other businesses are evacuated and closed. Please avoid the area.

  • junctioneer July 12, 2021 (11:46 am)

    No change of behavior / evacuation required for surrounding residents?

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (12:01 pm)

      Firefighters’ main job in a situation like this is to monitor air levels and evacuate people if necessary. The only over-the-air evacuation mention we heard was
      Safeway, but not everything will be over the air. We’re checking further …

      • Neighbor July 12, 2021 (12:17 pm)

        I know a resident in the California & Lander building (above Good Society). He was told to evacuate around 10:45. So, yes, at least some nearby residents have been evacuated. 

        • junctioneer July 12, 2021 (12:51 pm)

          Thanks, just the smell was so strong 5 blocks away I was about to call the leak hotline despite not knowing the source, but glad I checked WSB first. I guess overpowering natural gas smell outside doesn’t mean you have to evacuate.    

  • engineer July 12, 2021 (11:47 am)

    Things like this are incredibly frustrating as they are completely avoidable with proper due dilligence. Using an excavator to remove soil around a 4″ gas is nothing more than a corner cutting time/cost saving measure. The line should have be daylighted at multiple locations using an air knife or hydrovac before putting a single bucket tooth in the ground, even if it takes longer to do. Heads should roll for this, luckily no one was injured or killed. 

    • momof3boys July 13, 2021 (8:00 am)

      It was an unmarked/undocumented line. Not sure what they were supposed to do. Accidents happen. Documentation is often not complete. Sheesh.

      • TophWS July 13, 2021 (3:31 pm)

        Where did you see it was an unmarked/undocumented line?  Did I miss something in the story or comments, or did you look at a report posted elsewhere?  Is a 4″ line small enough to be an undocumented patch?  Are gas lines often not completely mapped?  I could see maybe building lines or branch lines on private property not being documented well, but a main or feeder in public property/utility control I would expect to be documented. 

  • Sharon July 12, 2021 (11:47 am)

    It’s a news copter.

  • Mellow Kitty July 12, 2021 (11:52 am)

    I freely admit that  I have zero construction knowledge – that said – are there no blueprints or plans anywhere in Seattle’s archives showing where the gas lines are? It seems that damaging gas lines during construction is becoming the norm rather than the occasional “oops” at this point. 

  • MSS July 12, 2021 (11:55 am)

    Do we need to be concerned about any other gas-related incidents to those of us that live nearby?

  • WiseWoman July 12, 2021 (11:58 am)

    Busses are being rerouted down Charlestown Stree West until 49th

  • Sarah July 12, 2021 (12:00 pm)

    Thanks for the updates.  Arrived at my son’s preschool around 11:35, in the same building as the Admiral Safeway, and they had just been told they had 30 minutes to evacuate. 

  • SK July 12, 2021 (12:01 pm)

    It was “Cornerstone Construction”. They’re the geniuses responsible. And I guess the City for hiring them to dig up streets. Perpetually. 

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (12:23 pm)

      There was no announced city work in that area; I am checking with SDOT.

    • Kris July 12, 2021 (12:30 pm)

      Do you know if it was the crew related to the apartments being built or the crew related to the elementary renovations? 

      • wendell July 12, 2021 (1:00 pm)

        I think it was the crew of the Good Ship Lollipop.

    • Pdx77 July 12, 2021 (12:33 pm)

      You really can’t blame them 100% without knowing.   Before they start digging up streets a locator service comes and marks where the underground utilities are.  It is possible the one for the gas line was marked incorrectly or wasn’t marked at all (which does happend).   Or it might of been marked correctly and they still dig into it. We don’t know yet, but it’s not fair to Blame this all on the construction company without knowing what exactly happened 

      • Hammer in Hand July 12, 2021 (7:49 pm)

        If you read the fine print of the locates 3ft either side of that mark is considered acceptable located 

  • Mj July 12, 2021 (12:03 pm)

    Safeway is closed

  • Jas E July 12, 2021 (12:04 pm)

    I can smell it all the way down at the Springline Apartments going towards the 7-ElevenI’m getting ready to evacuate now I have a child and I have asthma so this does not work please everyone be safe

  • Alki resident July 12, 2021 (12:11 pm)

    The continued curse of businesses shutting down due to others . 

  • Daniel July 12, 2021 (12:11 pm)

    We live on the 2700 block of 44th, close to 44/Lander. No evacuation (yet) or communication otherwise from SPD or SFD. Just lost power. 

  • sw July 12, 2021 (12:16 pm)

    Digging into a 4-inch line is a major oops.  Will be hard to explain that one away.

  • Plf July 12, 2021 (12:18 pm)

    Call 811 before you dig!  Thinking the construction crew didn’t see the infomercial 

  • Gary July 12, 2021 (12:27 pm)

    Have they capped the leak yet?

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (12:40 pm)

      That has not been announced. Our crew headed back to the scene to get updates since radio exchanges have quieted down.

  • Dean July 12, 2021 (12:34 pm)

    Call before you dig!!! 😜

  • Joe Z July 12, 2021 (12:35 pm)

    I look forward to the day that Seattle decommissions all of its gas lines due to their contribution to the climate crisis as well as the constant danger of leaks due to construction/earthquakes/etc. It might not be for decades but eventually it has to happen. 

    • miws July 12, 2021 (12:51 pm)

      What Joe Z said. At this point, it’s been leaking for over two hours now. Where are PSE’s failsafes when it comes to broken gas lines? —Mike

    • Yep July 12, 2021 (4:21 pm)

      One can hope.

    • Kram July 12, 2021 (4:38 pm)

      It will happen by regulation alone. You already cannot add gas to a new construction commercial building (went into effect in 2020). Residential is right behind. The existing system will only shrink and become much more expensive as demand lessens. You are right that it will eventually happen. My guess is about 30 years. Around that time it will be really weird to see gas.

      • WSB July 12, 2021 (5:08 pm)

        We asked that – do you support banning natural gas in new single-family homes? – at the mayoral candidates’ forum Saturday (see our coverage)

      • Pessoa July 12, 2021 (6:23 pm)

        What you are advocating is raising the prices for existing homeowners by regulation and forcing them to find alternatives to gas. Is this want you want? 

        Apparently, “Big Brother” now comes in two flavors, left-flavored and right-flavored, though some of this can be attributed to the fuzziness and ambiguity of the Seattle political scene, where nothing, and no one, is what they appear to be.  

        • Joe Z July 12, 2021 (8:05 pm)

          No it will just be priced according to its impact on the planet. 

    • Hammer in Hand July 12, 2021 (7:52 pm)

      Back in the 70’s the big push was to get off the electrical gridSeattle is looking to line there pockets being the only electrical provider give me the gas

  • flimflam July 12, 2021 (12:37 pm)

    Just by my memory, there have been more than a couple “oops is daisy “ construction gaffs like this over the last year. Do the offending companies ever face any consequences or fines for this stuff ? Yes, obviously it’s not done on purpose but nonetheless they are responsible….

    • SPG July 12, 2021 (12:42 pm)

      Yes. If you break a gas line you will have to pay for it. If you did not get locates it is more expensive.  Locates are not always 100% accurate. 

    • Hammer in Hand July 12, 2021 (7:54 pm)

      Penalty is 3x the repair cost if proven perventable

  • Jaclyn July 12, 2021 (12:39 pm)

    Has it been cleared? 

  • Amb July 12, 2021 (12:42 pm)

    Has the Element 42 apartments been evacuated? 

  • Kat July 12, 2021 (12:44 pm)

    Gas smell is still really bad above Safeway. Haven’t heard anything from the firefighters though.

  • Patti Johnson July 12, 2021 (12:50 pm)

     Summer school is in session at the high school.  Are the kids being evacuated?

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (1:21 pm)

      We were finally able to get over to the office to ask. Students were sent home.

  • CMB July 12, 2021 (12:53 pm)

    I live in Element 42 attached to Safeway and they haven’t evacuated us. Some residents got an email from management informing them to close their windows. Some residents (me) received zero communication and found out after looking online to see if there was an explanation for the helicopter. Thank you for keeping us informed, WSB. What a valuable resource you are!

    • Am July 12, 2021 (12:57 pm)

      I’m also very surprised we haven’t been asked to evacuate since the first floor smells STRONG and outside of the building is even worse. I feel like they don’t want to pay to relocate everyone. 

      • Kat July 12, 2021 (1:20 pm)

        I also live in Element 42, it’s really bad even though my windows are all closed. I’ve been thinking about leaving just as a precaution.

    • Sarah July 12, 2021 (1:31 pm)

      That’s really surprising.  My son attends Andover School underneath you, and they were told to evacuate and cancel afternoon school.  I wonder what the difference is between being at street level and being up in the residential building.

  • Shelby July 12, 2021 (12:53 pm)

    Hi, Shelby from Admiral Safeway here. It is a sizeable leak and we don’t have an opening time in sight. We need people to just stay away until further notice. Our parking lot is closed. The staff are not lunching – we had to leave quickly and most of us don’t have our keys. We are being let into our building to grab our purses and keys so people can get home. We’re safe, but we can still hear the gas leak.

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (12:56 pm)

      Thanks for the update.

  • Peg July 12, 2021 (1:09 pm)

    Just thinking about gas leaks that blew up. Maybe if you can smell it it might be smart to leave. 

    • CMB July 12, 2021 (1:39 pm)

      Under normal circumstances we would. But my mom is recovering from surgery and as much as I hate to do it, I have to rely on those monitoring the situation to determine the risks of staying vs. the risks of leaving. I don’t hear the leak anymore. I’m hoping for a positive update soon.

  • Gary July 12, 2021 (1:14 pm)

    Intersection of Lander and California is still closed as of 1:13pm.  Gas monitoring crew was just at 45th and Lander but they just left. 

  • Bmc July 12, 2021 (1:18 pm)

    Are people being told to leave Hiawatha ?

  • Local July 12, 2021 (1:31 pm)

    Honestly… we can’t evacuate my apartment right now—- especially when you’re taking care of someone. We will keep windows and doors shut. We are in the old crap shot hole appartments on Freshys. Ignoring any future knocks on doors. Luckily we haven’t had them. But we just can’t leave right now. So we are being quiet and just trying to get through this day, and get back to survival.
    We appreciate you letting us know.

  • Shelby July 12, 2021 (1:37 pm)

    Hi, Shelby from Admiral Safeway again. We have been told that California will likely be closed for hours. Jefferson Square Safeway is pretty busy, as you can imagine, so Roxbury might be the saner option this afternoon. I highly recommend people avoid the area. Streets are closed. They are making progress, but it’s still a situation. That’s all I know – I’ll update when we know more.

    • CMB July 12, 2021 (1:45 pm)

      Thank you, Shelby. I really appreciate your updates.

    • New Neighbor July 12, 2021 (2:04 pm)

      Yes, thank you for your updates, Shelby!

  • Sean July 12, 2021 (1:45 pm)

    I live right here. Went down there and asked the cop if we’re in danger.  Police Officer very rude, and wouldn’t identify himself. I asked if he even works for the city and he said “No”. Great job W.Seattle….Really, truly. 

    • Engineer July 13, 2021 (6:46 am)

      He probably wasn’t a SPD officer. A lot of the hired traffic control subcontractors wear clothing that makes them look like real police officers in an effort to get better compliance. Just some hired schmuck standing around who probably didn’t know anything.

  • old timer July 12, 2021 (1:45 pm)

    As of now, it’s two and a half hours since the break, and PSE STILL does not know where their gas shutoff valves are?  All the earthquake instx about “know where your shut off valve is”, and they don’t even know their own?  

    • Shelby July 12, 2021 (2:21 pm)

      As I understand it, this is an unusual and complex situation. It must have been a big rupture of a big line because it was roaring pretty good. What we heard an hour or so ago was that PSE attempted to cap it in one location, but that was unsuccessful and they had to try another spot. I am super grateful for all the first responders and how they’ve been working in a tough situation.  Everything is still closed with no word on when we can open. There are still a lot of people driving up and trying to get into our parking lot, but we are not open. Thank you for understanding.

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (2:47 pm)

      This is not a topic area in which we have had to deal much so I hope I’m not misinterpreting this thirdhand. The SFD PIO explained to our photographer, who in turn relayed to me, that the break – a hole punched in a main – required them to do exploration to figure out how/where to shut it off, I hope to get clarity on this directly from PSE but in the meantime, it’s apparently complicated, and they’ve had to dig into the street at a couple spots.

  • Diane July 12, 2021 (1:52 pm)

    just south of PCC, with 50+ seniors & disabled folks; we received ZERO notice from anyone; thankfully my friend across the street alerted me; thanks so much for the timely coverage TR & wsblog team; otherwise I wouldn’t have had any idea this was happening; still in my apt, but prepared to evacuate if needed

  • Lola July 12, 2021 (2:35 pm)

    Call 811 Before you dig.  They even have commercials on TV now for it.  Lol. 

  • Cid July 12, 2021 (2:44 pm)

    I had just left Safeway this morning around 10:15 when a fire truck went by on 42nd.  Several cars including mine had to turn around on Lander and re-route around W. Seattle High School.  A worker was frantically trying to direct traffic on the narrow street where the gas smell was really strong . I figured that Safeway and the apartments above would have to be evacuated and that WSB would have the story.  Hope they have it resolved by now. 

  • onion July 12, 2021 (2:47 pm)

    Stinks on the east corner sidewalk outside PCC. That’s as close as I want to be. Inside everything seems normal. On my walk home saw a 50 bus heading west on Stevens to 45th. I assume it was going to turn again at Admiral before getting back on California northbound.

  • Shelby July 12, 2021 (2:49 pm)

    I also want to give a big shout-out to the Jack in the Box crew – they kindly gave us ice waters when we were stuck in our parking lot without our purses and wallets. It’s hot out here and they saved our bacon. Thank heavens for good neighbors. Y’all are awesome!

    • CMB July 12, 2021 (4:54 pm)

      Glad to hear this! Excellent how of solidarity and compassion by the Jack in the Box crew.

  • Snack July 12, 2021 (2:54 pm)

    What an incompetent contractor!! They have been working that site for over a week, loaded with utility lines  and they still cut a gas line!!!!

    • Sean David Klingler July 12, 2021 (3:27 pm)

      They are called “Cornerstone Contracting”, according to the shirt the guy had. I called them and they denied having any jobs in W.Seattle, but had a feeling he was lying. 

      • WSB July 12, 2021 (8:40 pm)

        I finally found the permit. Cornerstone Construction applied in May for a permit to do side sewer work for the 2715 California SW project (Admiral Station). I’ll be following up tomorrow on various aspects of this unusually lengthy incident – TR

  • Robin M. July 12, 2021 (2:59 pm)

    Any updates?

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (3:09 pm)

      We’ve been up there four times now and are going back again soon. What I added above is the newest info we have.

      • Cherie olsen July 12, 2021 (3:29 pm)

        Thanks so much for your updates, on Lander west of site, heard helicopter and went straight to your site , and found answers..👍😊

  • AdmiralNorth July 12, 2021 (3:15 pm)

    One thing to be thankful for is that this rupture didn’t result in an explosion.  I don’t even want to think about what that would’ve been like with that size main…

    • S.A. July 12, 2021 (7:53 pm)

      To have some idea, all you need to do is look at what happened in San Bruno CA a few years back. Loss of life, loss of property, and a big bail out for PG&E.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Bruno_pipeline_explosionEveryone is very fortunate today.

      • Sparker4 July 12, 2021 (9:57 pm)

        I used to live 10m from that explosion, and very versed in PG&E nonsense and it was so scary how people died and they got a slap on the wrist… glad people here are safe though 

  • J July 12, 2021 (3:33 pm)

    Met market and PCC are open. No apartment building evacuations. California Ave still blocked from Stevens to Admiral. Don’t know if Safeway has re-opened. Stuff like this happens during road repairs. Often because old drawings are wrong or non-existant. So, please stop blaming! Mistakes happen. That’s life. Blaming never does any good.

    • WestS July 12, 2021 (3:52 pm)

      The blaming is coming from frustration. The lack of communication with the residents that live around the area and in the neighborhood as well as the rude workers hasn’t helped. Mistakes happen but this could of been more serious and took hours with no real communication. Things could of been handled way better…

      • CMB July 12, 2021 (4:51 pm)

        I agree. This could have been, and should have been, handled much better than it was. This isn’t a frivolous complaint, it’s just a fact LOL. Mistakes do happen, and certain mistakes (like this one) are supposed to be prepared for so they can be handled appropriately. There’s a huge difference between blaming someone for a random act, and holding someone accountable for precautions that were not taken. There was the mistake (hitting a gas line) and then there was the mishandling of the situation (no clear communication, not enough preparation). Saying “that’s life” is so unbelievably useless to everyone affected.

    • flimflam July 12, 2021 (5:26 pm)

      if the construction crew did this, they are indeed to blame. easy. if it was from negligence/incompitence they deserve blame, consequences, and all that comes with it. this isn’t like someone tripped and spilled a cup of paint or something, this is very serious.

  • Joseph July 12, 2021 (3:45 pm)

    A bit of a “Karen” note here, but if you were expecting something from FedEx, don’t expect it. UPS and Amazon seem to be fine with delivering during this in the area but FedEx used it as an excuse to just turn around and leave. 

    • bolo July 12, 2021 (4:36 pm)

      Why would you denigrate the company that just might be trying to protect its employees better in a dangerous situation?

      • Joseph July 12, 2021 (9:53 pm)

        @bolo: Because I deserve my packages on time and others had no issue and it was just after California reopened. Also don’t tell me what to do @karen 

    • Karen July 12, 2021 (7:07 pm)

      Please stop using “Karen”, even in quotes.  Find a new name if you must ridicule.

  • Shelby July 12, 2021 (3:51 pm)

    Ok, Admiral Safeway is open! We will have regular hours for the rest of the day.

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (3:54 pm)

      Thanks for all the updates, Shelby!

    • Sparker4 July 12, 2021 (9:56 pm)

      Thank you, Shelby. Hope the team is okay.

  • Thankful July 12, 2021 (4:19 pm)

    We like to complain about how lousy our government is at serving us. As if government employees are our lackeys. Granted, governmental agencies are not the private sector beholden to a bottom line that expects service workers to stand up and bark on command. But let’s give some credit to the employees of government and the utility, these people who responded to this crisis (yes! it is a real and not invented crisis) to our city, our city’s infrastructure, and the people who live in the Admiral District and patronize the District’s businesses. And of course to mention the nearby school. When it comes down to it, we need and rely upon our fire department and our utility workers. Just as we need and rely upon so many other people who serve the needs and requirements of our community. Face up to it. What to do? Bring some cookies to our local fire station. Send a thank you note to PSE. And for the love of mike, stop complaining. You never had it so good.

    • CMB July 12, 2021 (6:25 pm)

      If you bring cookies, make sure they’re store bought and sealed. Otherwise they throw them away, as a very real precaution, unfortunately. I can definitely get on board with being grateful to those who responded appropriately, and thank you for the reminder. My frustration with the way it was handled included more than just those who showed up to solve the issue.  But again, there’s complaining, and then there’s proper evaluation of the situation to inform protocol. And I think those of us that live in this immediate area not only have the right to say how we feel, we’re obligated to be vocal about our experience as part of the feedback loop. 

  • Daniel July 12, 2021 (4:19 pm)

    Power still out at 44/Lander 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

  • Beatrice Metzelaar July 12, 2021 (4:51 pm)

    We smelled gas, called PSE who said someone would check.  Man came, and without testing said there was no danger, no harm.  Incompetence abounds. . . .

  • Kalo July 12, 2021 (4:57 pm)

    Call 8-1-1 before you dig!

    • SPG July 12, 2021 (6:09 pm)

      You are about the fifth person to say this. There is paint on the ground. It looks like locates were called in. They spray down white for the area they want locates. I can see that in some of the pictures.

  • WeSweat July 12, 2021 (5:25 pm)

    Small business owner here that has been greatly impacted by this construction.  Most days I can’t get to the front of my building or even enter through the alley. Which leaves me hauling big loads by hand for blocks.  I opened in 2020- was shut down due to Covid, then a major water leak with a 7K water bill from the city that still isn’t resolved (was supposed to get a rebate because I repaired it immediately).  We are in our slow season, but seriously this small business needs a break.  Know anyone who wants to sauna?  Ugh!

  • Sparker4 July 12, 2021 (7:42 pm)

    Luna just advised residents that gas was being shut off until tomorrow and to limit hot water so…this is far from over: “We have just been informed that gas has been shut off to our building and is estimated to be turned back on in the early hours of the morning. Please limit your hot water use during this time: please use only cold water on for laundry, dishes, etc., so that hot water is available as needed. PSE is and will continue to work on the main line gas leak that occurred today, however we do not currently have a time estimate as to when this will be completed. We will update you as soon as we find out more information. Thank you for your attention to this email!”

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (7:53 pm)

      Sorry to hear that. Does your building use gas for heating and/or cooking? Seemed like most new buildings were sticking with electricity. Or maybe for the hot water?

      • Sparker4 July 12, 2021 (8:19 pm)

        Only the hot water heater. Everything else is electric. I got a shower in so I’m good for the night and hope others don’t misuse hot water & and it comes back before morning showers… 

        • Sparker4 July 13, 2021 (6:18 am)

          Gas still off for Luna, no hot water this morning… 😿

  • Biz owner July 12, 2021 (9:43 pm)

    As a business owner that had to be evacuated, shut down, and lose power, I’m wondering if we (collective businesses) have any access to compensation based on this unfortunate mistake.  I know that West Seattle Runner had to cancel an event tonight (due to not knowing if the street would be open in time, then it was…too late to continue their event).  Also- I am curious how PSE will charge us for our gas usage.  I have had to pay the same (if not more) during the pandemic closures when clearly I wasn’t using near as much gas as I was paying pre-pandemic.  The leak sounded like running water, super loud.  How are they going to be able to decipher our true usage?  But- it has been crazy with Seattle City Light with basing bills on “supposed” usage…since it has been automated and not truly based on the actual numbers.  I’ve seen my utilities sky-rocket during a time when I was forced to shutdown or reduce services.  When I complain and ask for a simple explanation , they say that it is based on an average (the average being pre-pandemic)… I just want the black and white numbers back… this postulating has grown to be quite expensive.

    • S.A. July 13, 2021 (6:34 pm)

      That’s what you buy business interruption insurance for.

    • ltfd July 13, 2021 (7:14 pm)

      Your natural gas usage is measured by the meter at your building. It only measures, and you are only billed for, the gas that your building uses. No leaks in the system before the meter (the supply side) are measured/billed to you.

  • M July 12, 2021 (11:29 pm)

    I saw a fire truck pulled over by Safeway just now, related?

    • WSB July 12, 2021 (11:55 pm)

      They were checking out a report of odor. Turns out the repairs were continuing and it was related to that. Call closed quickly.

  • Pessoa July 13, 2021 (8:45 am)

    I lived roughly ten miles from the Aliso Canyon PG&E (CA) leak five years ago, the worst in history.  Yes, it was frighteningly for residents in the immediate area of Porter Ranch, and there were health repercussions, much probably anxiety-produced.  

    What’s the solution, though? California has more solar power than it knows what to do with, and that is the problem:  How to store it?  Look at the huge batteries that are required to just to power your Tesla, and imagine the infrastructure improvements – electrical grids – and storage needed to power cities. This is a very difficult problem, you can’t just wave a magical wand and think the sun’s goodness is going to “jump” into your toaster, your Tesla, your fuse box downstairs.   Even Washington State gets about 40% of it’s power from gas and coal fired plants. 

    Who doesn’t want more clean energy, but do you really want more dams?  Fantasy thinking usually produces panicky, ill-conceived solutions.       

  • Lola July 13, 2021 (2:16 pm)

    Our neighbors had a landscaper doing her yard this year.  I was not home but the other neighbor texted me that they had to evacuate because they hit a gas line.  I think they evacuated a two block radius just to be safe.  They did this 2 other times as well.  They tried to hide the Xtra charges on the Neighbors bill as the Fire Dept. had to come each time they hit it.  She some how got the charges removed as it was not her fault but the fault of the company.  Remember to call 811 when you are digging or ck. with your contractor that they know to do that.  

  • engineer July 14, 2021 (3:49 pm)

    A follow-up to all the comments about “call before you dig” and “accidents happen”. Calling in a dig request to the Washington Utility Notification Center, and marking your excavation area in white paint prior to doing so, is the bare minimum. Often times they show up late (after the 48 hour period) or don’t mark anything at all or make there mark on junk old drawing that are worthless. It is a legal box checking exercise to CYA, but it is not enough IMO as a civil engineer with 20 years of experience in civil construction. There are many other ways to locate utilities, including magnetic electromagnetically for metallic infrastructure and induction of tracer wires (if available) or ground penetrating radar for non-conductive utilities, like high-density polyethylene gas lines. If these methods don’t work, hydro or vacuum excavation is a great non-destructive way to pothole along your excavation footprint to check for utilities. Next, many utilities are often buried in materials that are different than the surrounding native materials. Using this specific site for example, I bet that gas line was in a trench lined with pea gravel, with a clear distinct break between it and the adjacent silty sand. An excavator operator whoever is overseeing the excavation should always be looking for distinct materials changes and stop work immediately if observed. Lastly, bright color strips of plastic or flagging (think yellow caution tape) is almost always buried directly over top, but a few feet higher, than utilities so that it is seen before an excavator can potentially strike it. Long story short, I would bet dollars to donuts full due diligence was not done in this case, resulting in the utility strike. In my professional opinion, employing what I described above is absolutely necessary when digging in the public right-of-way 

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