ESCANABA – Homes in Escanaba were evacuated this afternoon in a one block area surrounding a major natural gas leak at 14th Avenue North and North 22nd Street. A construction crew hit the main line in that area. Escanaba Public Safety Lt. Darin Hunter said they went door-to-door after 1 p.m. to evacuate the area.
“We are evacuating, going door-to-door, evacuating people at this time,” Hunter said shortly after the leak was reported. “DTE employees along with our first responders are on the scene.”
The gas line was shut off by 3:10 p.m., according to Nancy Kolich, public information officer for the Local Emergency Planning Committee/Emergency Operations Center.
“There is no danger of ignition or explosion,” she said.
Police cars during the afternoon blocked access to several blocks in the residential area.
Two major companies in the area remained open. Anthony & Company and Dagenais Enterprises in the next block to the north of the gas leak were not evacuated.
Gas order could be smelled for several blocks. DTE Energy officials were seen working to fix the leak. Hunter said they do not expect the leak to be a quick fix. At the site, it sounded like a jet engine roar.
Kolich said about 15 homes in the area will not have natural gas service until Saturday.
The location is just west of North Lincoln Road, U.S. 2, 41 and M-35. North Lincoln Road remained open.