UPDATE: Evacuations lifted, roads re-opened, after Old Town Temecula gas line rupture
UPDATED: Thursday, Aug. 29, 12:20 p.m., With additional details and road closure updates.
TEMECULA – Two buildings in Old Town Temecula were evacuated and a portion of Old Town Front St. was closed as a precaution after a contractor working on a sidewalk restoration project reportedly struck a gas line while operating a backhoe earlier this morning, Thursday, Aug. 29.
This morning’s crisis, which has since been brought under control, happened on the 28000 block of Old Town Front St. and caused the closure of several streets surrounding where the gas line was ruptured.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the incident at 8:31 a.m., after receiving reports that a backhoe operator had damaged a natural gas line.
The contractor had been using a backhoe to tear out the wooden planks along Old Town Temecula’s boardwalk as part of a restoration project when he inadvertently struck the gas line, Patrick Thomas, Temecula’s public works director said in response to media requests for information about the incident.
Two buildings were evacuated and a portion of Old Town Temecula was closed as a precaution after a backhoe operator hit a natural gas line earlier this morning. Temecula Sheriff’s Station photo
The ruptured gas line prompted the evacuation of at least two buildings, until gas to the ruptured line could be shut off and repairs could be made.
While officials worked to mitigate the leak, Old Town Front St. was closed between Moreno Rd. and 6th St. Other businesses in the surrounding area were not directly affected by efforts to stop and repair the leak.
At around 10:40 a.m., Temecula Sheriff’s Station put out a social media release updating that gas to the affected line had been shut off and the building evacuation orders had been lifted. Officials also reported Southern California Gas Company crews were continuing their efforts to repair the damaged line.
“Roads are open! Gas is off!” the sheriff’s department reported; saying, “Crews are still working on the shoulder of Old Town Front Street. Proceed with caution for the workers please. Thank you Temecula!”
No injuries related to the ruptured gas line were reported.
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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.