Gas leak closes roads, evacuates homes, school in New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Three homes and a school have been evacuated in New Haven after a gas leak closed several roads Wednesday morning.

Police and fire officials are on the scene investigating a cracked gas line.  Police and fire officials closed Canner Street from Prospect Street to Livingston Street. Parts of Autumn Street, Everit Street, Livingston Street, Loomis Place, St. Ronan Street, and Whitney Avenue are all closed..

It was about 4:30 in the morning when the call came in. People in a house on Canner Street smelled natural gas. The Fire Department came out with gas monitoring equipment. Zero percent is ideal.

“And they found percentages of 38%,” said Assistant Chief Orlando Marcano of the New Haven Fire Department. “The building was immediately evacuated. no signs, no symptoms. They metered the buildings adjacent. They found lower readings.”

All three buildings were evacuated. Officials went door-to-door on Whitney Avenue and Canner Street informing residents of the gas leak.

Southern Connecticut Gas sent crews in to look for the source. A backhoe and jackhammer started tearing up pavement. They knew there are 2 16 inch gas mains under there, but in these cold temperatures, the source of a leak can be hard to find.

“Because of the weather and the frost, it can travel, and when it travels, it can be difficult,” said Marcano. “So what we do is, we vent it, and when we vent it, we can find it by the higher concentration of where it would be.”

The search took crews more than two blocks further down Canner Street to a spot right in front of the Worthington Hooker School. All those Kindergarten through second grade students were diverted to the Hooker school for higher grades a couple blocks away. The search for the source of the leak continues.

“They’re still venting so that they can isolate so they can shut off, so they don’t know the exact source at this moment,” Marcano said.

There are no further details at this time. Check back for more updates.

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