GAS LEAK: Crews shut down Hiawatha Avenue to locate source - KMSP-TV

Hiawatha Avenue reopens after gas leak

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Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis reopened Thursday morning after CenterPoint energy crews worked overtime to fix a gas main overnight.

Officials closed down a portion of Hiawatha Avenue on Wednesday afternoon while firefighters and utility crews worked to locate the source of a gas leak.

Firefighters were dispatched at 4:32 p.m. after receiving reports of natural gas leaking in an area near 35th Street between, Hiawatha and Minnehaha avenues. Readings taken in the area confirmed natural gas was present at high levels, and several buildings along 35th Street were evacuated.

"We've got to be really careful with natural gas," Deputy Chief Don Leedham said. "There is an explosive range of 5-15 percent -- and it was above that at times and right in the explosive range."

Hiawatha Avenue gas leak repair
PHOTO: CenterPoint crews worked overnight on gas main repairs

The first report came in at 3:30 p.m. after an ADM employee smelled gas and evacuated the facility. Crews vented the building, and gas readings were back to normal by Wednesday night.

The source of the leak was eventually traced to a gas main near the road.

"I saw all the workers in the street and they came pounding on the door," Louis Boucher, who was evacuated, told Fox 9 News. "They made two trips into the basement and didn't notice any. They checked twice, but they wanted me to come out and sit here to keep warm."

As an added precaution, Hiawatha Avenue was closed between 31st and 38th Streets while crews continued to monitor the area. Light rail traffic was never affected and home heating was never affected.

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