Energy company releases cause of Tuesday’s gas leak


WILMINGTON — Tuesday’s gas leak in a Wilmington neighborhood was caused by a fiber optic cable crew striking a natural gas line, according to CenterPoint Energy.

Around 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Clinton County Emergency Management Agency Director Thomas Breckel told the News Journal they received the notice from the Wilmington Fire Department about the natural gas leak at Hiatt Avenue and Virginia Circle.

“We verified the location and figured out the most affected areas,” said Breckel. “The (text) alert doesn’t allow us to send pictures. We are hoping to fix that in the future.

According to an update from Tuesday, one of three gas lines (Y connection) had been “crimped.” Centerpoint Energy was on the scene to help stop the leak.

A shelter-in-place notice was sent out to locals in the area advising them to stay inside. According to EMA’s website, sheltering is “for use during a hazardous materials release or conditions are not safe whether you are at home, work or anywhere else you frequent regularly, there may be situations when it’s best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside.”

On Friday, Erin Merris, senior communication specialist of CenterPoint Energy, told the News Journal, “a crew working to install fiber optic cable struck a natural gas line that was unmarked by the locate service.”

Breckel praised the Wilmington Fire Department for their work and for helping spread the word to locals in the immediate area.

“They did a great job going door to door in the immediate area trying to pass on the word,” he said.

Breckel advised households should discuss with each other what to do if this should happen. He also recommended locals sign up for text or phone alerts. He advised anyone who isn’t sure how to set those up, can call the EMA or stop by and they’ll assist in the setup.

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