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Evacuations lifted after Ocean Beach gas leak

SAN DIEGO – Scores of Ocean Beach residents forced out of their homes overnight by a gas leak were allowed back into the neighborhood Tuesday after utility crews made sure no hazardous fumes remained in or around structures in the area.

Authorities began receiving reports about a strong odor of natural gas around the 1700 block of Bacon Street about 7 p.m. Monday, according to police and San Diego Gas & Electric.

“Had beating on all of our doors to get out really quickly. I had to leave my cat and I had to leave my work computer, had to leave everything!”said Michelle McCormick, one of the evacuated residents who returned home Tuesday afternoon.

Emergency crews cleared roughly 200 people out of surrounding houses and apartments as utility workers began searching for the source of the problem, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department reported.

The SDG&E personnel had the leak under control as of shortly before 11 p.m.  380 residents energy was turned back on but gas likely won't be turned on until Wednesday, said SDGE.

"So everybody is fully restored but there is no gas in their homes at this time. We are going to have to do some final repairs to the gas line and once those repairs are made we’ll be able to relight folks pilot lights so they can have gas," said SDGE Spokesperson Allison Torres.

The American Red Cross set up a temporary shelter at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center for the evacuees and stationed a food truck for them at the corner of Del Monte Avenue and Bacon Street.

As of late Tuesday morning, all but about 75 of the affected residents had been allowed back into their homes, fire department spokesman Lee Swanson said. All the evacuations were lifted by mid-afternoon.

The origin of the leak remained under investigation.