A two-block area centered on the intersection of Camp Street, North Meridian Street and Ulen Drive was shut down Friday after a 4-inch high pressure natural gas line was punctured by a construction crew.
The leak was capped by 3:45 p.m. Roads are expected to reopen about 4:20 p.m. Firefighters are going house to house checking natural gas levels inside.
Gas howling through the rupture was audible for hundreds of feet in every direction.Streets in the area are expected to remained closed until as late as 3 p.m. and a dismissal plan is being worked out for Lebanon High School, which was closed soon after the leak was reported.
According to LPD, at 1:30 p.m., it is estimated that repairs extend past the time that Lebanon High School and Lebanon Middle School release for the afternoon. At this time, officials are working to develop a plan for students who walk home or are picked up by private vehicle. Students who drive or take the bus will be allowed to leave by traveling north. Schools can be accessed only via Grant Street.
Lebanon Fire Department and Center Township Fire Department responded, said LFD Chief Chuck Batts.
“The fire department has just confirmed it is a 4-inch steel line,” Lebanon Police Lt. Brent Wheat said at 12:30 p.m. That made repairing the rupture more difficult because the pipe could not be crimped, as is possible with other types of lines, he said.
It could be at least an hour before the rupture was repaired, Wheat said, although the time could not be specifically determined.
The line had been installed recently, said Bob Waples of Lebanon Utilities. It was moved as part of installation of new storm sewers and water lines on North Meridian Street from Memorial Park to Prairie Creek.