PG&E announces $100-million relief fund for San Bruno gas explosion victims
Pacific Gas and Electric announced a relief fund Monday of up to $100 million for residents displaced by the San Bruno gas explosion.
Gas company officials said they expect to distribute checks by the end of the week of up to $50,000 for immediate moves and daily needs. Money from the fund will also be paid directly to the city to help rebuild streets, parks and sidewalks.
PG&E President Chris Johns announced the relief fund at a news conference Monday afternoon and gave San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane a $3-million check to help quickly begin the rebuilding process.
"They've made a commitment," Ruane said. "It's very gratifying."
Johns acknowledged that the money will only help heal some wounds.
"It is heart-wrenching to go and see the results of what has occurred up there," Johns said. "Some of the things that have been lost, you cannot put a value on."
Some homeowners have been allowed to briefly return to their homes to pick up medication or pets. On Monday afternoon, city officials said they planned to allow more residents in the "buffer zone" to return.
The residents of 10 houses with yellow tags -- or limited damage -- will be allowed to enter for an hour. They will be accompanied on a one-to-one basis with city building officials to determine what kind of permits they may need to begin fixing the damage.
There are 49 red-tagged homes, which are not safe to enter. Eleven of them are still standing. San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson said the city is trying to arrange for a bus tour for those residents to view the damage.
-- John Hoeffel in San Bruno
Photo: Crews erect a power pole Sunday at Claremont and Glenview drives as rebuilding begins at the site of the gas line explosion. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times