Gas leak forces evacuation of Lexington homes and businesses

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A gas leak forced around 80 people in homes and businesses nearby Rosemont Gardens and Southland Drive to evacuate.

Firefighters say drivers made calls about the smell of natural gas.

“Just smelled like straight propane gas. We actually all started getting a little dizzy,” said Victoria Everman who works near the gas line leak.

Columbia Gas says a contractor hit a line.

The fire department had to shut it down because it was seeping into underground storm drains.

Roads had to be closed and customers including Lafeyette high school had to evacuate.

Columbia Gas says through the end of September it has responded to more than 160 gas line damages.

Firefighters say they’ve worked 325 this year.

You can be fined for damaging a gas line. It can cost you $1,250 for your first offense, $2,000 for your second, $4,000 after that.

When the gas is shut off, Columbia Gas says it can’t just flip it back on.

“We do go door to door and we will need access to the customers home to relight all of their appliances, test their internal house lines, and get the gas line service restored,” said Lisa Smith, Columbia Gas Director of Communications.

Smith adds the damaged piece of main line has been removed and the new main line is being installed. Once that is done, it can start to re-establish service.

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