Cut gas lines cause emergency evacuation in Raleigh neighborhood
Posted June 28, 2016
Updated February 24
Raleigh, N.C. — Faster internet service is causing major safety concerns in an east Raleigh neighborhood. Crews hit gas lines more than once, causing an emergency evacuation.
Fiber optic lines being installed in the Waterford Landing community promise internet speeds that are 100 times faster than existing connections, but homeowners are more concerned about their safety than internet service.
Homeowners say contractors doing groundwork have hit utility lines three times in the past seven days.
The latest was a major gas line that triggered an emergency evacuation Monday.
“We just grabbed our family and ran straight out the back door,” said Haylene Lewis-Phelps. “No shoes, no nothing – just ran out the back door. They told us run because it was that urgent.”
Homeowner Patti Barbour lives several blocks away from the latest gas leak, but she had to stay inside because the smell was so strong.
Construction crews are required to get the utility lines marked before digging to help avoid accidents, like the incident on Monday.
“The firefighter told us that the markings on the ground were in the wrong place,” Lewis-Phelps said.
The gas company, PSNC, says it’s investigating the accident.
“We work hard before, during and after construction to minimize cuts and disruptions for residents,” a spokesman with AT&T said.
“It’s just scary all the way around, because what’s going to happen next?” Barbour said. “I will be glad when they get out of this area and move on down the street.”