Tree falls in Newark, causes gas and water leak

- A road in Newark is closed and a condo complex was evacuated due to a gas and water leak, officials said. 

Reports of the leak and closure came in around 4:00 p.m. Friday. Newark police are asking the public to avoid northbound Cherry St. between Stevenson Blvd and Mowry Ave.

A large 50-foot uprooted tree that fell on the roadway was to blame for the gas and water line ruptures at the 6300 block of Joaquin Murieta Ave, according to Alameda County Fire Department. 

No injuries were reported. Officials are unsure when the area will reopen to through traffic, but neighbors say they aren't surprised this happened. 

PG&E crews were on had Friday night, scrambling to cap the leak. 

"It was a real funny smell, kind of a distinct odor. You could smell it lingering here and there," said Tony Boyanford, an area resident. 

As water drained into the parking lot, Alameda Co. fire crews went door-to-door checking on residents who were evacuated to the complex community center. Some said it was a matter of time before the tree gave way. 

"All I can say is that for the last five years, I've lived here with my sister. I've always been worried about that tree because it had such a forward lean to it, so I wasn't surprised to see it had come down," said Richard Sanchez, a resident in the neighborhood.

Another neighbors said rain after drought conditions was to blame for the downed tree. 

With the tree's fate now in the wood chipper, the problem was resolved and things were back to normal for the Boyanford's. 

"PG&E crews came by and tested the air in each of the units and said the air quality was good enough they still probably recommend, until everything was done that everyone should still keep clear," Boyanford said. 

Some in the neighborhood had to figure out where to park their cars. 

Reporter Rob Malcolm contributed to this report. 

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