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Feinstein's visit to San Bruno blast site angers some residents

September 12, 2010 |  1:03 pm

While Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) toured the natural-gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno around noon, some evacuated residents who had been told to report to their neighborhood at 11:30 a.m. Sunday were livid that the senator's visit seemed to be delaying their return.

"Tell her the residents want to get in and for her to get out," said one man who would not give his name. He said he was told to report to Glenview Drive and San Bruno Avenue at 11:30 a.m.

San Bruno City Councilman Ken Ibarra shared the frustration as he spoke to residents being turned away. "It's supposed to be a well-laid plan," he said. "People have been anxious for days now, and today will be a busy day. But there will be problems."

About 12:15 p.m., police started letting cars with green tags on the windshields through one at a time, accompanied by blue Pacific Gas & Electric Co. work trucks, to turn their gas back on.

One woman wiped tears from her face as she looked down the hill and viewed the destruction while a police officer embraced her.

A man with gauze bandages on his head and neck surveyed the area from a vantage point on a sidewalk above and asked if he could go see his burned-down home. 

Councilman Ibarra told him no -- only people with intact homes would be able to return Sunday.

"It doesn't matter, it's all gone," the man said before turning around.
Dozens of PG&E workers with clipboards and wearing white construction hats and orange vests also walked down into the bowl-shaped neighborhood.

-- Tony Barboza in San Bruno, Calif.