November 26, 2014

No injuries in gas leak that caused evacuation

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A Standish Area Fire Authority truck blocks traffic for a block on Cedar Street due to a gas leak.
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Two Michigan State Police troopers direct traffic away from the scene of a gas leak.
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A Consumers Energy van arrives at the scene to cap the leak.
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STANDISH — A gas leak on South Court Street in Standish Wednesday did not cause any injuries, but did force police to evacuate all of the homes on South Court and South Church streets for more than two hours.

Arenac County Undersheriff Donald McIntyre said the gas leak occurred around 1:45 p.m., when a man on South Court Street was cutting down a tree and struck the gas line running into his home with a chainsaw. He said the hissing sound of the leak along with the odor was present throughout the area where the incident occurred, spurring the evacuation.

“There’s quite a bit of pressure coming from one of those lines going into the house,” he said. “You could hear that for half a block away and you could smell the odor for a good block and a half away.”

Consumers Energy was called out to the scene to repair the leak, McIntyre said.

“The gas was free flowing out the line going into the house, so they had to cap that and they’re right now restoring gas to that house,” he told the Independent around 4 p.m.

McIntyre said police officers went to every home on South Court and South Church streets between Cedar Street and Pine Street informing the occupants to evacuate until the leak was stopped. People were allowed to return to their homes around 4 p.m.

“I was telling people when we were evacuating houses to check the department’s Facebook page for updates,” he said.

Not long after the leak was reported, traffic on Cedar Street near the scene was closed. The Standish Area Fire Authority and Michigan State Police assisted with traffic control, McIntyre said.

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