Some residents in Downey remained evacuated Friday morning because of a natural gas leak as the utility said repairs would take longer to complete that previously believed.

The leak was reported about 10:35 a.m. Thursday when Southern California Gas Company crews were alerted to a natural gas line that was apparently damaged by a third-party contractor in the area of 7800 Stewart and Gray Road near Rives Avenue, according to a SoCalGas statement.

People were evacuated from about a 300-foot radius around the area where the leak was reported, and utility crews were sent to handle the problem, the Downey Fire Department reported.

Stewart and Gray Road was closed from Paramount Boulevard to Rives Avenue due to the leak, SoCalGas said.

About 8:30 p.m., the utility said it would take another eight hours to repair the leak and residents in the area should plan to be evacuated until at least Friday morning, the Downey Patriot reported.

Residents and businesses in the area were advised that they may smell a natural gas odor while SoCalGas crews and first responders worked to stop the leak and make permanent repairs.

A countywide notification regarding the gas leak was sent out about 12:30 p.m. The city of Downey tweeted about 3 p.m. to explain the notification was released using a new emergency notification system and only intended for residents in the area.

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