MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A south Minneapolis neighborhood was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after a gas main was struck.
The Minneapolis Fire Department says the main was hit at about 4 p.m. at the intersection of Diamond Lake Road and Wentworth Avenue.
About six city blocks were evacuated: between Nicollet and Lyndale avenues, and between 54th and 56th avenues.
CenterPoint Energy officials say a contractor accidentally damaged the 24-inch main while installing fiber optic cables.
The leak was stopped just after 5 p.m., and residents and traffic were allowed back in the area by about 6:30 p.m. CenterPoint says no gas service in the area was affected.
Authorities were advising people to stay clear of the area, and they were urging people to evacuate by foot — not by car — if they could smell gas.
Deputy Chief Todd White says firefighters have the painstaking task of shutting off gas valves one by one in the area, starting at Lyndale Avenue and 54th Street and moving west. He says much of the infrustructure in this part of the city is quite old, and most of the valves have not been touched in decades.
No one has been injured. Firefighters will stay at the scene and throughout the area into the night to monitor the situation.