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April 11, 2013

More excitement than we’re used to: downtown Los Gatos has been impacted today by a gas leak at North Santa Cruz Avenue and Highway 9 in the mid-morning hours. It’s calmer now but traffic is snarled, and power remains out for some businesses in the Los Gatos Shopping Center and nearby.

The leak happened near, but not in, Chase Bank. Helicopters descended to get the news out, adding to the tension and concern about what was going on.

Yellow police tape lined North Santa Cruz Avenue and Highway 9 to keep cars and pedestrians out of the way. Here’s a panorama shot I took with my cell phone (Samsung Galaxy SIII) at around 11am.

Gas leak at Los Gatos-Saratoga Road and North Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos by the Chase Bank building April 11 2013

Realtors at my office across the street, Sereno Group, told me that they’d heard a loud bang or popping sound, and then the power went out for a little bit. Agents at Coldwell Banker, next to Chase, weren’t so lucky and the power there is still out, as it is throughout the Los Gatos Shopping Center, including Petco.

The gas line seems to be capped at this point.

North Santa Cruz Avenue was closed for awhile but is now open. As of this writing, the police still have 2 units on scene and it appears that Los Gatos-Saratoga Road is still closed. Highway 17 / 880 was said to be backed up all the way to Hwy 85 from the downtown mess.

There will be a backup for awhile, generally. If you don’t have to drive through this part of town, best to avoid it for now.