Gas Leak Shuts Down East 2nd Street to Walsh Drive in Casper
Update as of 8:00 p.m.
Dane Andersen with Casper Fire-EMS has told K2 Radio News that the gas leak is secured, atmospheric readings in the area are normal, and the evacuation orders for the Walsh/Gannett area have been lifted.
Original story below:
A gas leak has currently restricted traffic and evacuated residents in east Casper.
That's according to Casper Fire-EMS Engineer and Public Information Officer Dane Andersen.
According to Andersen, drilling work resulted in a gas line being hit behind an apartment complex on Walsh Drive.
"What we have is a gas leak that is right about at the corner of Walsh and Gannett Street," Andersen told K2 Radio News. "So that's gonna be pretty much across from Woods School, which is 500 South Walsh. The gas leak is located behind the apartment complexes on Walsh Drive. It looks like it was a directional drilling device that has hit a gas line. The gas line is a two inch metal gas line that we know has been impinged and is possibly connecting into a larger feeder line that has been impinged."
Black Hills Energy and Rocky Mountain Power, along with Casper Fire-EMS are on scene and they have been monitoring the area continually.
"Black Hills Energy is on scene with probably the most technicians I've ever seen," Andersen said. "So it's been an excellent response from them. We've been monitoring Woods School continually since the start of the incident. There has not been any hazardous atmosphere found inside or around Woods School. We've been coordinating with the School District as well to facilitate pickup of the kids from the school."
Andersen said pickup from Woods School would still occur at the same time, for both parents and the bus. They will just be utilizing a different route, which the Natrona County School District will release information about shortly.
Andersen said the process to actually solve the gas leak requires breaking through the ground to find the valves and secure the leak.
"The ground is very frozen and hard," Andersen said. "Black Hills Energy needs to locate the valves for the affected gas line and then dig the ground up to access the valves in order to secure the leak. That's how we're gonna stop this thing. As of right now, we're just isolating the area as Black Hills is going through this process."
Andersen stated that Rocky Mountain Power is currently shutting down power to the surrounding buildings and residences, including homes and apartments near the south end of Gannett Street.
"We have traffic shut down from Christie Lane, all the way down to Second Street on Walsh."
Andersen stated that there have been no injuries reported as a result of the gas leak, but that there is a noticeable odor.
"The necessary evacuations that we've made to the homes that are closer to the actual leak site have occurred," he stated. "This is likely going to take several hours. The disruption is going to head into the evening hours as Black Hills works on locating the leak. Our units are going to be on scene for several hours providing protection and fire coverage, assisting with the traffic diversions, etc. So just avoid the area, especially through school pickup hours and rush hour."
K2 Radio News will continue to update this breaking story as more information becomes available.