Some homes evacuated briefly Sunday in area near gas line cut

Some homes evacuated briefly Sunday in area near gas line cut

About a half-dozen homes on Park Street in Marianna were evacuated for roughly two-and-a-half hours Sunday, after a man working in his yard with heavy equipment severed a natural gas line.

Marianna City Manager Jim Dean said the person had not called city hall or the national 811 line to take advantage of the free “utility locate” service. Dean and other city officials, like Marianna Fire Rescue Chief Nicky Lovett and Natural Gas Utility Superintendent Douglas Glass, urge residents to make that call before they attempt work that could breach utilities.

Lovett said the evacuation covered a 500-foot radius around the home where the line was cut.

Glass said the city utility crew first capped the damaged line in order to stop the escape of natural gas vapor in the pressurized line, and then shut the line off at the main before repairing the line.

The Marianna Police Department and Fire Rescue re-routed traffic in the area until the line was restored. The call came in at 1:52 p.m., and emergency units began leaving the area around 4:30 p.m.

Calling 811 will bring utility crews to the potential work area within 48 hours of the contact — excluding weekends and holidays — so that residents preparing to do work will know where they need to steer clear. Every utility service in the country is bound to respond if called upon, and there is no cost for the line location.

Call 811 well in advance if the work is to be done on a Saturday, Sunday or weekday holiday period, officials stress, insuring that crews have had 48 hours of regular weekday notice to locate the line.

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