BEND, Ore. - (Update: Bend Fire Dept., Cascade Natural Gas details)
A contractor working in a northwest Bend alley hit and ruptured a natural gas line Wednesday morning, causing a sizable leak that closed some streets for about three hours and prompted officials to advise some area residents to stay inside with windows closed until it was capped.
Bend police and fire crews were called shortly before 10 a.m. to the alley off Northwest 14th Street between Elgin and Fresno avenues and found a 2-inch high-pressure natural gas line had been broken, said Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe.
Fire crews worked with police to shut down the streets for two blocks around the incident, checked houses for gas building and asked residents to shelter in place with windows closed, Howe said.
“We closed the main streets down, evacuated the two houses closest to the incident, well they’re actually vacant, but just to make sure nobody’s in in case any gas were to migrate into that house,” said Brian Gainer, a Cascade Natural Gas engineering associate.
The leak prompted a closure of Elgin and Galveston avenues. A detour was established on 15th Street for southbound traffic and on 12th Street via Albany Avenue for northbound traffic, officials said.
Residents along Fresno Avenue between 14th and 15th streets were urged to stay inside as a precaution.
A contractor working in an alley hit a service-line connection on the main natural gas feed, Cascade Natural Gas spokesman Mark Hanson said.
Howe said the utility was able to excavate the line in two places and shut it off. Pacific Power shut off power to the area as a precautionary measure, to limit the risk of any electrical sparks igniting the gas, he said.
“In case there’s any kind of electrical arcing where there might be gas," Howe said. "We would have a tremendous problem if that occurred.”
Roads reopened about 1 p.m., while Cascade Natural Gas repair crews continued working on the scene. Repairs prompted a disruption of natural gas service to about a dozen customers, Hanson said.