Minor Gas Leak In Downtown Wilmington

Wilmington, NC – A gas leak forced the evacuation of two blocks of Wilmington's Front Street this morning.

Crews were blasting water through a sewer pipe in preparation for upcoming inspections when the nozzle of their equipment ruptured a gas line intersecting through the pipe, according to Dylan Lee with the city.

Residents were evacuated from their homes between Orange and Nun Streets. They were allowed to return about an hour later.

According to Lee, crews spent the rest of the day re-routing the gas pipe around the sewer line. Lee says workers will be on the lookout for more of these so-called cross-bore gas lines as they continue to inspect downtown sewers, but that they weren't aware of today's intersection.

"Crews were not expecting to run into a cross-bore," Lee said, "and of course we had the leak as a result."

Lee did not know whether the city plans to move any other cross-bore gas pipes it finds during downtown sewer inspections.

"We're going to be working closely with Piedmont natural gas to make sure that they don't get ruptured," Lee said.