UPDATED INFORMATION: Leaking Natural Gas Line Closes Portion Of Kimberly


By Paul Johnson

UPDATED INFORMATION 3:30PM We have received updated information from Intermountain Gas Company about this mornings incident. Here is their statement:

A contractor accidentally struck a ½” natural gas service line in Kimberly, Idaho, at 147 N. Chesnut St this morning. As a safety precaution, the nearby schools just west of the line break area were evacuated until gas reads could be taken, and the buildings deemed safe for occupancy.

The line break was close enough to the 4” steel gas main running in the alley behind the N. Chesnut St. property to require a shut-down of portions of Intermountain’s natural gas system in Kimberly to allow for a safe repair.

This partial shut-down will curtail natural gas service to a number of customers while the line break is repaired. Intermountain Gas crews from Twin Falls, Hailey, and Pocatello are being dispatched to Kimberly. When the repair is completed, and the system re-pressured, the IGC personnel will begin relighting each customer’s natural gas equipment inside and outside their dwellings.

At this point, approximately 120 customers will be curtailed. The relight work will begin this afternoon, and is expected to be completed sometime this evening. IGC personnel will leave door-hangers at homes and businesses they are unable to access today for the relight process, and will then finish the relights tomorrow.

UPDATED INFORMATION: 1:30PM The school district superintendent is reporting all students have returned to their classrooms. In a letter to parents, the district said;
"The gas leak in downtown Kimberly has been contained. Earlier today, as a precautionary measure, students in grades 3, 4, and 5 were moved to other buildings on campus because of the non-toxic fumes. Currently, all students are now in their regular classrooms."

UPDATED INFORMATION. Luke Schroeder, the Superintendent of Schools for Kimberly said that at 9:30 this morning when they were notified of the incident, they immediately relocated the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes to the middle school. The move for the students was precautionary, Schroder said.

Kimberly, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - A broken Gas mainline has caused the evacuation of some businesses in Kimberly this morning. According to officials with the Rock Creek Fire Department they are considering this to be a low impact event at this time. The gas line was broken this morning about 9:30 by construction workers at the old city hall. That facility is being remodeled to become the new Physicians center in Kimberly. Fire Department workers on scene have advised the Kimberly School administration to keep the classrooms well ventilated and to turn off all Heating and Cooling systems. Schools were not closed due to this incident. Right now two city blocks on Main Street North are closed while Intermountain Gas employees and the Rock Creek Fire Department sample the air checking for high levels of natural gas. According to Fire Department officials, two gas stations and an auto repair shop have been evacuated as a precaution. There have not been any injures reported.
The gas line is described as a main service line and therefore, crews will be required to dig down to the line on both sides in order to cap it. It’s expected to take up to three hours for that process.

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