MADERA – Highway 99 is closed between Avenue 7 and Avenue 12 due to a gas line break, according to reports from the CHP. Traffic in the Madera area is snarled due to the incident, and motorists are being advise to please avoid this area.Early reports from the CHP indicated a fire associated with the gas leak, but no further updates on a fire have been received.
Erica Stuart, Public Information Officer for the Madera County Sheriff’s office, says that the gas has still not been shut down, as of 12:30 p.m.
Stuart also reports that there has been a half-mile evacuation from the point of the leak, which is in the area of Highway 99 and Avenue 12.
Authorities are warning that the situation is very dangerous, because of the potential for a spark to cause an explosion.
PG&E crews are now on-scene evaluating the situation.
The CHP logs show that a tractor hit a gas line at 9:49 a.m. CHP, Sheriff’s deputies, Cal Fire and Cal Trans are all on-scene, and the situation is changing rapidly, as road closures are implemented, and resources are diverted.
CHP is also posting that the FAA has imposed flight restrictions on aircraft within a one-mile radius of the incident, and an altitude of 6,000 feet.
Please avoid this area, and find alternate routes. All roads in and around the Madera area are jammed, due to ramp closures and traffic diversions.
There is no estimated time at which this situation will be cleared up. Indications are that it will be several hours at least.
We will update as news comes in from the CHP and other agencies.