BEND, OR -- Bend Fire responded to the report of a gas leak, just after 10:30 a.m., Wednesday. Initial reports indicated someone had struck the line near Wall Street, just south of downtown Bend, between Florida and Delaware Avenues.
Crews evacuated the block bordered by Wall, Broadway, Delaware and Florida, and shut down access to Florida and Delaware Avenues between Bond and Broadway. Wall Street was closed south of Georgia Ave., near Florida Ave.
The public is asked to avoid the area. Power is expected to be shut off, potentially impacting up to 1,000 Pacific Power customers. City officials estimate it could take a couple hours to isolate the leak and resolve the problem.
12:15 p.m. UPDATE: The leak has been resolved and streets are reopening. According to Bend Fire, "The construction project is a replacement of all the underground gas lines in the downtwon core area, and Cascade Natural Gas has contracted with Northwest Metal Fabrication (NWMF) to perform the work. The leak was caused by a 'like strike' during construction by a NWMF crew.
Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe tells KBND News, "They usually drill underground and that’s when they run the line behind the drill. But, they hit a line; and it does happen now and then. It’s a big job so they’ve hit a couple of different lines." He adds, "When we got here, we found a 2” gas line – it’s a high-pressure line – it was just broken and just roaring away. I mean, it was really hissing and screaming and it’s unpleasant to be around because it smells bad and everything." Among those evacuated were 12 homes and a preschool.