Gas leak shuts part of downtown

021419ch gas leak
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Firefighters with the Edenton Fire Department block off access to the intersection of South Broad and Water streets following the discovery of a natural gas leak, Wednesday afternoon. Edenton officials said later Wednesday that the leak had been stopped and Piedmont Natural Gas workers were repairing the line.

021419ch gas leak

By Nicole Bowman-Layton
Chowan Herald

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

EDENTON — A natural gas leak forced the evacuation of several businesses and closed part of downtown Edenton Wednesday afternoon.

The gas leak was reported at 12:18 p.m. at the intersection of South Broad and East Water streets. A truck ran over a valve box and broke it on its western side, said Edenton Fire Chief Billy Bass.

While waiting for Piedmont Natural Gas crews to repair the leak, members of the town’s fire and public works departments evacuated several businesses along South Broad Street, including the Penelope Barker House, Edenton Office Supply, The Spa at Waterloo and Victorian’s Boutique for Him and Her.

Debbie Collins, who works at Edenton Office Supply, said she wasn’t aware of the leak until firefighters came into the building and told her to evacuate.

Due to the high winds, it was hard to smell the natural gas outside.

South Broad Street was blocked at King Street, while East Water Street was blocked at the Courthouse Green. South Granville Street was blocked at the West King Street intersection, preventing vehicles from entering West Water Street. Officers with the Edenton Police Department were stationed at the intersections and a few other downtown areas to redirect traffic.

“We’re trying to cut down on the amount of people who are trying to get down to that section of town for their safety,” said police Chief Henry King as he directed traffic at the intersection of South Broad and King streets.

Bass said he expected natural gas in the area to be shut off for several hours while repairs were being made.

Edenton officials said on Facebook shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday that the gas leak had been stopped and that Piedmont Natural Gas workers were working to repair the line. East Water Street between South Broad Street and Colonial Avenue were closed for the repair work, but all other streets were open, the town said.