July 26, 1999
BOTHELL--A six-inch natural gas main broken by a private contractor's track-hoe, in the 3900 block of 228th St. SE in Snohomish County, led to evacuation of local homes for almost 10 hours last Thursday, July 22, at about 10 a.m.
The street was already closed to through traffic, due to the construction, but extended road blocks were set up at 35th Ave. SE and 45th Ave. SE during the emergency. A Snohomish County PUD power substation 200 feet from the broken gas line was shut down soon after the break.
Snohomish Fire District #7 took command of the situation, assisted by Bothell police and Snohomish County Sheriff's deputies, conducting a door-to-door evacuation on all the side streets off 228th, between 35th and 45th. Houses were also evacuated on 35th up to the 22200 block. The leaking gas sound could be heard almost a half mile away, said District #7 Deputy Chief Jim Evans.
"You could hear a loud roar, like the sound of running up a jet engine, if you heard it from a half mile away, or like standing next to Snoqualmie Falls," said Evans.
The line was repaired by the contractor who damaged it, and the leak was secured by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) at about 4:45, said Evans.
Residents were allowed back in their houses between 7:30-8 p.m, but only after PSE employees did a thorough search of all affected homes to make sure no residual gas pockets were present.
The emergency incident was cleared by Fire District #7 at 8:30, but through traffic was not allowed on 228th until 11:30 p.m.