Downtown open to traffic after gas line issue

Published 5:12 pm Saturday, November 18, 2017

Downtown is now back open to traffic after a gas line burst and authorities had to wait for the gas company to turn off the line.

The Piedmont truck had to travel from Morehead City.

Washington Police and Fire-Rescue-EMS blocked off access to the intersection of Market and Main streets in downtown Washington, at approximately 5 p.m., after a gas service line burst at a business in the vicinity.

An area starting at Second and Market streets, extending east to Bonner Street, as well as west to Respess and Main, was blocked off for more than two hours. Authorities did not evacuating buildings, just prevented more people from traveling to the area until the gas can be cut off by the company, according to Washington Police and Fire Services Chief Stacy Drakeford.

“Basically, what we’re doing is putting a protective buffer in that area until the gas is cut off,” Drakeford said at the time. “It’s not a main line; it’s a service line that runs to one of the businesses on Main and Market streets. As normal, we contain the areas so nobody gets in there and smells the gas. … It’s more of a safety precaution; we’re not telling anyone to get out the buildings.”

Downtown was reopened to traffic at about 7:10 p.m.