Gas leak ends safely in Northwood

Residents allowed to return home after construction crew struck a natural gas line Tuesday morning

Posted: Jul 17, 2018 9:22 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2018 9:33 PM

NORTHWOOD, Iowa - Residents returned home Tuesday afternoon after a construction crew hit a natural gas line earlier in the day, forcing the evacuation of a one-block radius near the intersection of 10th Street North and 6th Avenue North.

Avis Lehman, who lives near where the leak happened, was caught off guard.

"I didn't know what was happening, until...I think it was a highway patrolman that came to the door and said I had to leave."

She first left for the First Lutheran Church a few blocks down the street, and then later to the public library.

"When I was at the church, somebody came and got to the key to my house so they can go down, I suppose, they wanted to check the water heater and such, so I don't have my key yet."

Just up the street from the leak are the Lutheran Retirement Home and Northwood Pines Assisted Living, who sheltered in place during the leak.

Mark Tomlinson is the Worth County Emergency Management Director, and says this was probably the best thing to do in this scenario.

"It's gonna take awhile for the care facilities to actually get the patients moved out of there anyway, so if they can move them to a safer place in the location and prepare them for that...it's a kind of a 'Part A, Part B' process, and if you don't have to go to Part B, then you've got it done."

As for Lehman, she is just glad that no one was hurt.

"I'm thankful that, you know, it could've gotten worse. It could've been blown up or something."

Crews were in the area digging to install new fiber optic cable.

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