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September 26, 2022

Gas line ruptured on Freedom Boulevard

[Editor’s note: This story has been updated from a previous version.]

WATSONVILLE—A construction crew replacing a sewer line ruptured a natural gas line Wednesday morning on the 1400 block of Freedom Boulevard, according to Watsonville Fire Division Chief Corey Schaefer.

The 10am incident prompted Watsonville firefighters and police to shut down a section of Freedom Boulevard near Alta Vista and Clifford avenue, leading to detours and major traffic jams along Freedom Boulevard and surrounding streets.

Pacific, Gas and Electric Company spokesperson Mayra Tostado said that the utility was notified at 10:30am that a third-party contractor struck a gas line while doing work at 1501 Freedom Blvd. PG&E crews shut off the gas at 2:28pm and repairs were completed by Wednesday evening.

Gas service to customers was not impacted, Tostado added.

Though some businesses and residents in the area were initially evacuated, Watsonville Police Department said there was no immediate danger to the public.

Construction crews were working on a wide-ranging and long-anticipated sewer line replacement on Freedom Boulevard that is expected to continue through the end of the year.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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