Gas leak closes road in North End
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.
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.