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Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.

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Gas leak downtown causes evacuations

UPDATE 9:00 am August 24

Two gas leaks that caused evacuations downtown yesterday were located and repaired early this morning by crews from Columbia Gas.  Ruptures in the 8″ cast iron underground natural gas line were discovered near William St at Prince Edward St and near Amelia St at Prince Edward St.  The repairs were completed, and residents and business owners were allowed to return to their homes around 3:30 am today.

UPDATE 11:30 pm

Columbia Gas has isolated the speciific location of the gas leak but it’s still unknown how long repairs will take and when residents can return to their homes. More updates tomorrow!

UPDATE 10:10 pm

The 300 block of William St has been re-opened to normal traffic, but the remaining areas around William/Pr Edward Streets remain closed while Columbia Gas continues to work to isolate the underground leak and make repairs.

UPDATE from the scene 8:10 pm:

A gas leak has been detected in the 1000 block of Prince Edward St; according to Columbia Gas the gas is leaking into the city’s storm and sanitation sewer system.  Evacuations are now complete in a 2-3 block  radius surrounding the source of the leak. Approximately 220 people were evacuated (unknown how many were not home yet) and the area is expected to be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for at least another 2 hours.

Columbia Gas has confirmed this is related to the earthquake.

We have shut down the roadways within the perimeter of the following intersections: William at Winchester, Amelia at Pr Edward, Pr Edward at George, and William at Charles.

Fire Dept personnel, the PD, and representatives from Columbia Gas went door to door to ensure safe evacuations of the residents.  Virginia State Police troopers are also assisting.

Residents in the area are advised NOT to turn on or off any electronic items and leave the vicinity in an orderly fashion, taking pets *if they are able to do so*.

Columbia Gas has cut a hole in the street at Pr Edward and William Sts; this seems to be very close to the leak as the gas is now dissipating into the air and gas readings are reducing.

***

A gas leak has been detected in the 1000 block of Prince Edward St and evacuations are underway within a 2-3 block radius around that location. According to Columbia Gas, whose representative discovered the leak, the gas may be entering the City’s sewer lines. The evacuations are to ensure the safety of ciitizens in the area.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/citypolice/2011/08/23/gas-leak-downtown-causing-evacuations/