Lansing Homeowners Evacuated Following Gas Leak

Residents evacuated on Sycamore St. in Lansing Wednesday stand outside waiting to get back into their homes following a gas leak.
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Several homeowners in one Lansing neighborhood were forced outside and into the heat Wednesday.

They were evacuated from their homes following a large gas main break near Genesee and Sycamore streets.

Leaving residents like Irene Lilly trying to keep cool.

"I'm about to pass out," she said. "It was ridiculous."

Consumer's Energy spokesperson Terry DeDoes said Lansing Board of Water and Light workers who were fixing a residential water main in the area accidentally hit a gas line.

Workers from Consumer's Energy were brought out to the scene shortly after the break to help fix the line.

"It was a two-way main that was severed," said Lt. Bruce Odom with the Lansing Fire Department. "[Consumer's Energy] came in and had to dig in both directions of the break in order to pinch it off to secure it properly."

It took about two hours for those crews to mitigate the problem, which was two hours that left Keith Pervorse sweating it out.

Pervorse said his house was located right next to the damaged gas line.

It's hot, I'm going to sweat off my breakfast," he said. "Luckily my wife is at our neighbor's because she's diabetic."

Ambulances were kept close by for residents and the city eventually brought in a CATA bus to use as a sort of cooling center, which is something Odom said the city does often in similar situations.

"It's always a concern when you have temperatures above 90 degrees," Odom said. "Immediately when we have a call like this where we might have a potential of an evacuation we typically coordinate with CATA."

Crews were able to finish up repairs on the line within a few hours after the initial evacuation.

Odom said it was "low-risk" leak because natural gas tend to dissipate fairly quickly in the open air.

Full service has been restored to those customers who were affected by the leak.

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