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.
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.