The Commerce Journal

September 24, 2012

Gas line cut at Harlow Road

Evacuation unnecessary

By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — The construction crew currently working on Harlow Road completely severed a four inch sewer line Monday morning, according to Interim Commerce Fire Chief Jack Berni.

“Atmos Energy was called, they were on the scene very quickly,” he said. “We blocked off both ends of the road as they closed the leak.”

According to Berni, nearby homes were tested for air quality and no one needed to be evacuated.

“The wind was in our favor,” he said.

Students at Commerce Elementary, A.C. Williams Elementary and commerce Middle School were sheltered in place due to the leak, according to a release by the Commerce Independent School District.

“Students were kept indoors and bus drivers were alerted for possible evacuation to a safe location,” the release read. “Air quality was monitored at the site and at no time was it determined to be hazardous. After the gas line was shut down for repairs, safety officials allowed the schools to resume under normal operating procedures.”

According to CISD Director of Personnel and Communications Ludonna Smithers, the gas leak began after school started and was sealed by 12:30 p.m. Student instruction was not impacted by the precautions taken, CISD said.

Harlow Road is the first of six streets schedule for repair as part of a $4.8 million road improvement plan. $3 million was provided by road bonds approved by Commerce citizens in 2008, while the Texas Water Development Board and Texas A&M University-Commerce contributed approximately $1 million each. A bid of $610,757 was approved for the reconstruction of Harlow Road by the Commerce City Council in June.