MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — South Minneapolis residents forced to evacuate their homes Wednesday afternoon because of a natural gas leak are now being allowed to go home.

Authorities say they received a call around 1:19 p.m. regarding a potential leak on a six-inch main line between 40th and 41st avenues on Xerxes.

When they arrived on scene, crews evacuated a number of homes in the area, due to the odor of natural gas. As of 5:45 p.m., the Minneapolis Fire Department has let most of the residents to return to their homes. The block that is still restricted is Xerxes Avenue, from 40th Street to 41st Street.

That block is expected to be reopened shortly, after crews check a few remaining homes.

A CenterPoint official said there were several blocks evacuated earlier Wednesday, including homes from 39th Street West to 42nd Street West and from Upton Avenue to Zenith Avenue.

Crews pinpointed the source of the leak around 3 p.m. and were able to shut the leak off shortly after.

No fires or injuries were reported related to the gas leak.

“When you have a natural gas leak or a vapor cloud, the biggest risk is doing something to ignite that spark or release gas into the atmosphere,” said Becca Virden, of CenterPoint Energy.

CenterPoint Energy says gas leaks happen this time of year when the ground thaws and freezes.


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