Gas line break prompts road closure

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A portion of Old Highway 51 from Smith Lake Road to Crooked Lanewas closed Monday following a gas leak between Dickerson &Bowen and an Entergy substation.

Brookhaven police barricaded a half-mile stretch of road around2:30 p.m. to keep out traffic and Brookhaven firefighters stood byfor about four and a half hours as workers secured the line.

Officials said a contractor for Centerpoint Energy struck anatural gas line, causing the gas to be released into the air.

Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey said thegas release did not cause any danger to area residents, so whilethe road was closed, nearby homes were not evacuated.

“They said it’s a main line coming into Brookhaven, but thatthey had it under control,” he said Monday. “There was no danger tothe public.”

Police Capt. Joe Portrey, who was on the scene until a littleafter 4 p.m., said the rainy and windy weather actually helpeddissipate the gas and neutralize any possible threat.

“That helped everybody,” he said. “If it were propane, we morethan likely would have had to evacuate.”

Galey said Centerpoint officials also told him that there wereno residents without gas that they knew of.

“The only one affected was Dickerson & Bowen because theyhad several pilot lights that had to be turned off,” Galeysaid.

Galey said the line was secured and the scene was deemed safearound 6 p.m. Monday.

“We were glad that everything went smoothly,” he said.