Town Square

Gas leak triggers evacuation in Mountain View

Original post made on Jul 31, 2013

PG&E has stopped a gas leak that evacuated several businesses along a Mountain View street Tuesday evening, officials said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 10:30 AM


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Posted by Mr. Nice
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:38 am

I think a truck carrying a load of beans spilled over thus causing a gas leakage.

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Posted by GrantK
a resident of Castro City
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I wouldnt be shocked that the gas main replacement project occuring next to this area is involved.

On another note, all it takes is an accident or some other issue to cause the 50's era San Antonio road to back up for miles along 101. This is the second week in a row where some issue at Charleston and San Antonio caused traffic backups all the way accross the 101 interchange. Maybe its time to relook at this area given the number of homes/apartments recently added to the area.

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Posted by Mary
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Whew! Congrats to alert fire department for noticing this potential threat. Could have been a disastrous explosion in time.

I do think the PG&E infrastructure is suspect altogether, due to neglect of oversight and needed upgrades. And lives are at risk I reckon. Time will tell I guess.

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Posted by Dynamite under our feet
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Do we as a society really need gas under our city?

Hasn't all the gas using equipment been replaced by Electrical ones?

WHY MUST WE HAVE THIS GAS under our city?

Am I missing something here?

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Posted by CuestaParkMom
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I use a gas cooktop and find it works much better than an electric one. We do need to take care that gas lines are safely maintained.

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Posted by @dynamite
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Gas is widely used everywhere in Mountain View. Natural gas generates most of our electricity in California. Natural gas powers my furnace, water heater, stove, oven, clothes dryer. It's much more efficient and cheaper to burn gas in your home to generate heat than turning gas into electricity and then turning the electricity into heat.

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Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I use this part of Charleston regularly as part of my shopping trips and route to 101. The work on this section has been causing traffic disruption for several weeks and scheduled to last a little longer.

I expect that there is no coincidence that there has been a gas leak where this work has been going on. Whether the leak was due to the work or as a result of the work, I think we are very fortunate that nothing more serious occurred. I hope that the work will be carried out as quickly as possible and no more setbacks occur.

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Posted by NW_Resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 1, 2013 at 10:00 am

Signs also went up this week on Whisman Road between Fairchild and Middlefield saying that PG&E will be doing 2 months of gas work there again and to expect delays, although it didn't say whether they meant traffic delays or project delays.

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Posted by Dynamite under our feet
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 1, 2013 at 10:49 am

"Natural gas powers my furnace, water heater, stove, oven, clothes dryer"

Hmm, all those can be turned into electrical use appliances. To have dynamite under our feet for those appliances is absurd.

I say we get rid of GAS in the city, and use it outside city limits for making electricity.

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Posted by Old Coot
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Meanwhile there are unsecured tanks of high explosive fluid traveling at high rates of speed all over our precious city. Day and night! Stopping and starting endlessly. in the hands of non-professionals.
This liqiud is more powerful than your namesake and very much more unstable to boot. And it's available on almost every streetcorner, without any license or handling training!
It's called gasoline...

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Posted by Darin
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Darin is a registered user.

I am reminded of a discussion between two friends about their least favorite handyman projects. One hated plumbing repairs. The other hated electrical repairs. One argued that a leaky wire never flooded his basement with electricity. The other argued that no one was ever water-cuted by touching the wrong pipe.

But on a practical level, in addition to the point maid by "Old Coot", even if we wanted to replace all natural gas with electricity, it would be a huge effort and expense to replace all the gas appliances (both household and commercial), and to upgrade the electrical grid to handle the extra demand. (Where should we build the new power plants?) The conversion from analog TV broadcasts to digital TV broadcasts would seem trivial by comparison.

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Posted by Dynamite under our feet
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm

@Old Coot. You are comparing apples with oranges. Not even going to bother with that.

@Darin, For the people that need to replace their old appliance, yes it would. As for the power plant, find out where the main feed is coming in and build a facility where there is no one near, whether it's 200 miles or 10 miles out of the city, wouldn't matter, it would feed into the grid.

Or we can do nothing and wait till major incidents happen like the one in san mateo. This isn't just a Mt. View problem, but the whole bay area.

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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I'm glad the alert fire fighters stopped a dangerous situation.

@Dynamite under our feet: I think you're overreacting. There are dangers everywhere in life. We can't eliminate all of them. We can intelligently manage risk in a couple of ways.

First, we can focus on the biggest threats. Take a look at this chart: Web Link In 2008, 156 deaths per 10,000 people due to heart disease. 37 due to respiratory cancers. 14 due to road traffic accidents. 1 due to fires. You're talking about a tiny fraction of fires. Think how many lives you could save for the same effort and money by instead encouraging healthy diet and exercise, discouraging smoking, and discouraging reckless driving.

Second, we can weigh all the consequences of our decisions. Direct natural gas heating is more efficient than conversion from gas to electricity to heat. Less gas is needed to put heat where it's needed. Gas appliances are cheaper to operate and arguably pollute less. I think more people would die from poverty and pollution as a result of a ban than would be saved from natural gas-related deaths. (And by "natural gas-related deaths", I'm including both explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.)

By both of these standards, a total ban on using natural gas would be crazy. Maybe that's why, to the best of my knowledge, it's never been done anywhere in the world.