Gas leak closes road in North End

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY - By EL­LIOTT WENZLER

A Palm Beach gas line was hit Fri­day af­ter­noon, caus­ing a leak that closed North Ocean Boule­vard near De­bra Lane for sev­eral hours.

Ac­cord­ing to Palm Beach FireRes­cue, the line — 2 inches in di­am­e­ter — was hit by sub­con­trac­tors work­ing with Florida Power & Light Co. work­ers, one of whom said the line hadn’t been marked on the street.

The line caused a part of the road to “bub­ble.” The gas could be seen seep­ing from the break in the pave­ment.

Af­ter shut­ting off the main gas line, which was pump­ing gas to­ward the leak, a bull­dozer was brought in to pull up the pave­ment cov­er­ing it. A few work­ers put on yel­low flame re­tar­dant suits and jumped in the hole to work on clamp­ing the line.

While they worked, Palm Beach Fire-Res­cue stood by with a hose line at the ready, “in case it goes boom,” depart­ment em­ployee Craig John­son said.

The main con­cern was that the longer the gas leaked, the more area it cov­ered, mak­ing the sit­u­a­tion haz­ardous. Some­one light­ing a cig­a­rette or strik­ing a match could “make the whole area go up,” Lt. Mark Brad­shaw said.

By 12:30 p.m., the main line had been clamped, Brad­shaw said, but the dam­aged line and the pave­ment still needed to be re­paired be­fore the road could re­open. One lane was cleared around 5 p.m.; the en­tire road was reopened at 11 p.m., ac­cord­ing to town alerts.

El­liott Wenzler / Daily News

Palm Beach Fire-Res­cue work­ers stand by as a rup­tured gas line is re­paired on North Ocean Boule­vard near De­bra Lane. Work­ers had sev­ered the line.

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