Four homes evacuated in gas leak |

Four homes evacuated in gas leak

A bus passes the barricade on Buckeye Road on Friday afternoon. A gas main was punctured by a construction crew.

For more than an hour on Friday afternoon, gas blasting from a punctured 4-inch commercial line posed a threat to homes and a Carson Valley elementary school.

Four homes were evacuated and Minden Elementary School students sheltered in place as authorities worked out the best way for parents and buses to come get their children.

A construction crew reported hitting the 4-inch line just east of the intersection of Buckeye Road and Heybourne at 1:50 p.m.

Douglas County deputies closed Buckeye just north of the Law Enforcement & Judicial Building and at Orchard Road. Westerly winds prompted notification to Bently and General Electric downwind from the leak. A 30 mph wind gust was recorded at Minden-Tahoe Airport at 2:35 p.m.

With school letting out in an hour and 20 minutes, it was a race to get the gas shut off and figure out the logistics to get the school children home.

Battalion Chief Larry Goss said fire, law enforcement and school officials met to determine the best way to get the school evacuated.

“Buses were sent in simultaneously to load students riding them at the west gate,” Goss said after the incident. “Car traffic would be held in Winnhaven and down Heyborne where parents could then rendezvous with their children on the west side of the yard. School officials sent an automated phone call to parents advising of the situation.”

Southwest Gas responded to the leak from Carson City and workers were on scene by 2:30 p.m. Goss said the gas was shut off at 3 p.m., just prior to school letting out.

“East Fork would like to thank Douglas County Sheriff’s and Minden Elementary staff for the unified effort in planning and stabilizing the incident, the quick work by Southwest Gas, and the parents of Minden Elementary students for their cooperation and understanding of the emergency situation,” Goss said.