Local News

Gas leak temporarily closes Hillsborough Street

Posted May 27, 2010 11:02 a.m. EDT
Updated May 27, 2010 12:32 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh police temporarily closed part of Hillsborough Street near North Carolina State University and evacuated several buildings in the area following a natural gas leak on Thursday morning.

Angie Townsend, a spokeswoman for PSNC Energy, said a contractor working in the 2500 block, near Pogue Street, hit a three-quarter-inch service line. The leak has since been capped, and repairs were under way, she said.

Police closed part of the road for a little more than an hour and detoured traffic until repairs were complete.

Several businesses and buildings, including some on the N.C. State campus, were evacuated as a precaution.

At least 10 restaurant owners said they were preparing for the lunch rush when they had to leave.

"Police immediately showed up, very responsive, and had us evacuate until at least noon," business owner Alan Lovette said.

Police allowed employees back inside but businesses did not reopen immediately, until air levels could be checked.

Thursday's leak comes just a week after an underground gas leak in downtown Raleigh forced more than 160 people from nearby buildings for several hours.

In that case, a contractor drilling a cable line ruptured a 4-inch gas line beneath Wilmington Street.