MOUNT VERNON — A contractor working near Adamson Street on the Parrott Street/South Main Street reconstruction project, damaged a Columbia Gas line Monday, resulting in some evacuations and the temporary closing of several businesses.
Columbia Gas spokesman Bill Loomer said the break in the six-inch line occurred about 12:15 p.m. and affected about 114 customers.
A spokesperson for Blubaugh Tire and Frame on Parrot Street said they were called about 12:30 p.m. and told they should move south. They returned to their main buildings about 3 p.m.
The person who answered the phone at Dollar General at Parrott Street said they returned about 3:30 p.m., as did the employees at Goodwill next door.
Gordon Tooley, plant manager at International Paper, said they were not told to evacuate, but should shut off anything that used gas. When contacted later in the afternoon, he said they were still waiting for word on when service would be restored.
The drive-thru at the corner of Parrott and South Main closed down about 1 p.m.
Emily Morrison, Public Information Officer for the Emergency Management Agency, said anyone forced to evacuate was provided a shelter at Mount Vernon Nazarene University Student Union. The EMA announcement initially said the evacuation might last six to eight hours, but apparently lasted about three.
She said Columbia Gas went to each home and shut off the gas meters. Once the line was repaired and the gas was back on, Columbia went to each home to turn the meters back on and check all connections and pilots, she reported.
Loomer said Columbia Gas hoped to have the line repaired by 6:45 p.m. and then would start the process of getting everyone safely back in service.