Broken lines plague Douglas utilities |

Broken lines plague Douglas utilities

An East Fork firefighter talks to a Redwood Circle resident at the scene of a gas leak on Wednesday morning
Kurt Hildebrand

A second water line break in Topaz Ranch Estates was the cherry on top of a week punctuated by utility failures.

About two dozen residences were evacuated on Wednesday after someone digging a trench hit a 3-inch gas line on Redwood Circle.

The first report of the gas leak was issued at about 11:10 a.m. Arriving firefighters determined the line was too large for them to clamp.

While waiting for Southwest Gas to arrive, the odor of natural gas could be detected all around the two condos.

The evacuation extended to a handful of homes on Manhattan Way and Kingston. Southwest Gas arrived just after noon and the line was shut down by 12:30 p.m.

The incident occurred within a half hour of the announcement that TRE residents should boil their water after a second line break in their community.

Wednesday’s order was the second in five days in the south county community. A similar incident prompted the first order on Friday. Coliform tests were completed by Saturday and order was rescinded on Monday.

Residents were advised to use bottled or boiled water to drink, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation.

It will be at least Friday before testing determines the water is completely safe to drink.

The district is in the process replacing water lines.

Electricity was out for most of the day to Stateline on Wednesday while NVEnergy workers dug up Highway 50 so they could repair the damage done by an explosion on Easter Sunday.

That work could take an extended amount of time, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.