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Roads close for 2 hours because of gas leak; none injured

By Bianca Montes
Aug. 23, 2013 at 3:23 a.m.

A fire truck and police car block off John Stockbauer Drive after a gas leak occurred on the corner of John Stockbauer Drive and Houston Highway. Three businesses were evacuated Friday because of  the leak, and no injuries were reported.

Safety

• LOOK - Persistent bubbling in standing water or discolored vegetation are signs of a possible leak around the pipeline area. A pool of liquid on the ground, a dense, white cloud or fog, a slight mist of ice or unexplained frozen ground near the pipeline also are signs of a possible leak.

• LISTEN - For any unusual noise like a hissing or roaring sound.

• SMELL - Notice any strange or unusual odor (the products will have a petroleum odor or smell like rotten eggs).

Source: Centerpointenergy.com

Traffic near the intersection of Houston Highway and John Stockbauer Drive was closed Friday for about two hours.

Victoria Fire Department responded to a 911 call at 1:13 p.m. from construction workers who hit an underground CenterPoint Energy gas line on the southeast side of Houston Highway, said Battalion Chief Roger Hempel.

No injuries were reported, and the gas line was repaired, Hempel said.

CenterPoint Energy will conduct a formal investigation about how the gas line was hit, said company spokeswoman Alicia Dixon.

Part of the investigation will ensure whether the contractors followed the call before you drill law.

The law requires that before beginning any excavation a person call the Utilities Protection Center at 811.

Underground utility lines are struck about 256,000 times per year, and more than one-third of those incidents could be prevented by calling 811 before digging, according to the Call Before You Dig campaign.

Three businesses around the intersection - Surplus Warehouse, Fesco Inc. and the Exxon Mobile gas station - allowed workers to leave early because of the leak but did not evacuate.

"Due to the amount of gas leaking out in our wind direction, we were worried about gas collecting inside of businesses," Hempel said.

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