PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Crews worked through the day Tuesday to restore service in downtown Portland after a major natural gas leak.
Portland Fire & Rescue tweeted at 9:14 a.m. that firefighters were at the scene which spanned several blocks: between Northwest 8th and 11th Avenues between West Burnside and Northwest Davis Streets.
Within those blocks are many businesses, including Powell’s City of Books.
People were urged to avoid the area as crews responded to the scene. NW Natural reported that buildings near the leak source were evacuated.
Pacific Power de-energized buildings in the area due to the gas leak, affecting around 2,400 downtown customers.
NW Portland Gas Incident: map of power outages happening now due to gas leak. pic.twitter.com/6ybQOtSOBs— Portland Fire&Rescue (@PDXFire) February 16, 2021
By 1 p.m., NW Natural reported that gas leak repairs were complete, which allowed Pacific Power to being safely restoring power to customers in stages over a five-hour span.
Pacific Power says it will be restoring power to everyone affected by today’s gas leak in NW Portland in stages over the next five hours. It says NW Natural says the gas leak repairs are complete. @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/8JYkVvGPTk— Drew Reeves (@DrewReevesTV) February 16, 2021
Power was being restored in phases to prevent the system from being overloaded and to ensure public safety. Pacific Power was notifying customers directly with phone messages that their service was being restored.
“We thank them for their patience and understanding during this public safety event,” according to Pacific Power.
NW Natural shut off the natural gas service in the area at around 11 a.m. and conducted repairs. Crews then worked to vent gas in the system, and advised that there may be strong odors in the area.
The cause of the leak remains under investigation.