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Simultaneous Water, Gas Main Breaks Force Evacuations on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside

Disruptions in 700 block of Bond Avenue are third infrastructure breaks in last two weeks

Water shoots out of the ground after a reported water main break in the 700 block of Bond Avenue in Santa Barbara on Sunday.
Water shoots out of the ground after a reported water main break in the 700 block of Bond Avenue in Santa Barbara on Sunday.  (Diego Topete / Noozhawk photo)

Emergency responders evacuated three residences on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside late Sunday afternoon after a gas leak and water main break were reported in the area.

At 5:05 p.m., the Santa Barbara Fire Department got a call of a possible gas leak in the 700 block of Bond Avenue. On the way, the firefighters were advised there was also a water main leak and water was spewing from the street, Battalion Chief Chris Mailes said.

At the scene, water ran down the street and there was a strong odor of gas in the air.

(Scroll down the page for an early video from the scene.)

As of 6:15 p.m., the water was shut off but the gas “continues to spew,”​ Mailes said.

Southern California Gas Co. crews were preparing to cut into the street to determine what happened. Repairs will start once the gas is shut off and the City of Santa Barbara Public Works Department personnel had arrived.

It’s unclear whether the broken gas line caused the broken water main, or vice versa, Mailes said.

He wasn’t sure whether the gas line or water line would be repaired first.

Nearby residents were advised to shut their windows and shelter in place. The 700 block of Bond Avenue and the 500 block of Quarantina Street, between Haley and Cota streets, was closed to pedestrians and traffic.

Sunday’s incident is the third water line break in the last two weeks, each of which caused flooding and street damage. A Sept. 27 water line break flooded the 1400 block of State Street and left several businesses without service for several hours and a Sept. 25 break in the 300 block of Olive Street caused a 20-by-20-foot hole there.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

(Urban Hikers / Noozhawk video)

Nearby residents were evacuated after a water main break and gas line leak were reported in the 700 block of Bond Avenue. Click to view larger
Nearby residents were evacuated after a water main break and gas line leak were reported in the 700 block of Bond Avenue.  (Chris Mailes / Santa Barbara Fire Department photo)

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