Moraga police, supported by adjacent agencies, ordered the evacuation of Rheem Center Sunday after a sinkhole dropped a light pole into a major gas line at the Autohaus Stuttgart lot.
Bystanders were ordered out of the area and a 1/4-mile perimeter established around the scene, with hundreds of people and business owners asked to leave the Rheem Center and environs while others in surrounding neighborhoods were advised to shelter in place.
That order remained in effect for most of the night. PG&E is slowly restoring gas to about 2500 homes in the area.
Residents reported receiving conflicting information from PG&E workers, with some saying they have been told to expect longer outages than previously projected. Rheem School is reported to be without gas service.
On the positive side, all roads – with the exception of Rheem Blvd. from Moraga Road to the Rheem Theater entry – have been reopened. Repair work is expect in the area but all buses are running normally and no further traffic impact is expected.
The Rheem Center and all businesses remained closed Sunday, with neighbors advised to use alternative routes to reach their homes. Many patrons abandoned their meals, purchases or cars when advised to leave the center and environs by police moving to establish a perimeter around the leak.
No one was injured during Sunday’s incident, though at least one minor fender bender was reported during the hasty effort to clear the area.