WHITE BEAR LAKE — A gas line was accidentally struck by a utility crew downtown at the intersection of Fourth Street and Banning Avenue about 10:30 a.m. July 16.
The White Bear Lake Fire Department received a call about a natural gas odor in the area, reported Fire Chief Greg Peterson. “While en route we were notified that a gas line had been struck,” he explained. “Upon arrival, we found a utility crew had struck a line while performing directional boring. We found gas bubbling out of a hole near the machine and there was a strong smell of gas in the area.”
Firefighters and Xcel Energy representatives evacuated nearby businesses because gas was starting to accumulate in sewer lines and buildings.
“Our crew also stretched a hose line in case the gas ignited,” Peterson noted. “A dig crew from Xcel arrived and had to remove some of the sidewalk across the street and then dig down to an intersecting line in order to stop the gas flow.”
A member of the utility crew that struck the line said that the gas line was incorrectly labeled. It appeared to go straight but was actually in a zig-zag pattern. The crew was putting in line for internet behind the Affinity For Quilts shop.
The danger has passed and the area is now safe for customers, Peterson added.
Sara Marie Moore