Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gas Leak

Yesterday there was a gas leak in Bartlett that caused 2500 outages and closed the highway. A couple of news stations covered the story last night. Here's the CA's take on it.

Eastbound U.S. 70 in Bartlett reopened after gas leak

Authorities have opened the eastbound lanes of U.S. 70 in Bartlett after an early morning natural gas fire closed the road between Yale and Santa Cruz most of the day.

The westbound lanes remained closed this afternoon as crews continued to work on utility lines along the highway. There were indications the westbound lanes may not open until after this afternoon's rush hour.

The fiery gas leak erupted about 1:30 a.m., prompting the evacuation of two homes as a precaution but causing no injuries, said Lt. Rory Mack, Bartlett police spokesman.

Initially affecting about 2,500 MLGW customers, power had been restored to everyone by mid-afternoon. Several traffic signals in the area disabled by the power outage also were back in working order.

Additionally, about 22 gas customers were affected, and utility officials hoped to have that service restored by the end of the day.

Glen Thomas, spokesman for MLGW, said the gas fire was caused when a live power line fell and began arcing. It connected with a gas line, causing it to rupture. The resulting fire burned a utility pole leading to disruption of service.

Bartlett police said there were no major traffic problems along U.S. 70 during the morning rush hour. The highway isn't as heavily used as Interstate 40. Additionally, the explosion location west of Yale, allowed police to easily divert traffic along Yale to Brother Boulevard and Kirby-Whitten. The same detours will be used this afternoon until the westbound lanes are open.

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