Update: Canton Gas Leak Repaired

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Crews from St. Lawrence Gas repaired a gas leak Tuesday night, and people who had been evacuated earlier in the day were let back into their homes.

7 News reporter John Friot, who was on scene Tuesday night, saw people returning to the roughly 20 homes that had been evacuated.

Village police said the leak was discovered at 4:20 p.m. at 58 East Main Street, near the intersection with Pleasant Street.

Bill Myers and his wife discovered the gas leak after smelling a strong odor outside their 58 East Main Street home.

"For a few moments there, I was just hoping to get out before I saw a flash," said Myers.

The Myers were quickly evacuated and spent part of the evening watching television with their two young sons at a temporary shelter at the Best Western University Inn.

Officials confirmed a gas line on East Main Street had been ruptured by large metal stake.

The stake is believed to have been driven into the gas line during the installation of new sidewalks as part of the village's highway reconstruction project.

Officials said they were unsure how long the gas may have been leaking before it was discovered.

People living on East Main, Crescent and Pleasant streets as well as Hillside Drive were evacuated.

St. Lawrence University is near-by, but was not affected.

Around 20 residences, including SLU president William Fox's home, were evacuated. No one was injured. (An earlier report that a sorority was evacuated proved unfounded.)

There were reports of gas odors on West Main Street and Judson Street late Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening, but they were not additional leaks, officials said.

Earlier Tuesday evening, fire officials said they were concerned about gas leaking into village sewers.

"Right now, the gas is traveling through the sanitary sewer," said Bob Crowe, Canton's fire chief. "The gas company is evaluating how much gas is flowing back through the sewer."

The gas company was also checking gas levels in each house, Crowe said.

Friot said the leak appeared to be close to, if not in exactly the same spot as, a leak that occured last summer.

In a statement Tuesday night, the St. Lawrence County Office of Emergency Services said "traffic will continue to be rerouted through the area for several more hours and motorists are encouraged to travel around East Canton along Judson Street this evening."

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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