Saturday Evening: Gas Leak Hits Watertown's North Side

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A natural gas leak on Watertown's north side forced the evacuation of homes on several streets late Saturday afternoon.

National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella says the gas leak was caused by a fluctuation in gas pressure, when a regulating station near Lansing Street flooded. The gas in 85 homes was turned off.

Firefighters first became aware of the problem when four residents on Lansing and Francis streets reported they smelled gas, 7 News reporter Chris Horvatits, on scene, learned from fire officials

Firefighters went door to door  at homes on Lansing, Francis, and Charles streets, telling residents who smelled gas to open their windows and leave their homes.

By roughly 5 pm, gas service in the area had been shut down, (from Mill to Lansing street and from Francis to Charles street) and by 5:15 p.m., people were returning to their homes. Later that hour, firefighters expanded the area where gas was turned off (from Mill street to Cleveland street and from Francis street to Seymour street).

"National Grid had a rep on scene and they believe they have a pressure problem in this area. They advised the fire department it would be in the best interest to shut off all of the meters in the affected area," said Herman.

By 7 pm Saturday, National Grid had pumped out the regulating station and had gas pressure back to normal. Crews then started to turn pilot lights back on in each of the affected homes. Although 85 homes were turned off, National Grid will check 115 homes between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

"Now we have crews out there going door to door... we want to make sure there aren't any other leaks that weren't called in. We want to go to those homes door to door tonight and tomorrow," said Patrick Stella, National Grid spokesman.

They said Saturday evening's weather, with temperatures in the low 40s, helped a lot.

Friday, November 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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