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Hertford Police evacuate residents after main gas line cut

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Posted at 11:52 AM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 17:26:37-05

HERTFORD, N.C. - Hertford Police alerted residents that there is currently no natural gas in town.

According to officials, around 9 a.m. officials received a call that a major transmission line for Piedmont Natural Gas was cut during construction at the Wynne Fork Road bridge.

Officials say there are currently no injuries associated with this incident.

Piedmont Natural Gas are responding to determine what repairs need to be made and how long it will take to make those repairs. Piedmont Natural Gas say all customer connections are still active.

A shelter has been established at the Perquimans County Recreation Department on Granby Street in Hertford for any residents that need to evacuate.

Both the fire and police departments reached out to residents who needed to evacuate.

The shelter is being manned by the Perquimans County Department of Social Services, Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office, Albemarle Regional Health Services, and the Red Cross.

Seventeen businesses are now temporarily closed.

Around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, additional personnel from Piedmont Natural Gas arrived on scene to assess the situation and determined that residents living on Gaston Drive could return home if they wanted. Officials say residents who live at the intersection of Wynne Fork Road and Whedbee Drive near the bridge have been sent to hotels for the night.

Officials say they are still receiving a number of reports of a gas smell in surrounding areas; Piedmont Natural Gas personnel are following up on each of those reports. They say the smell is an additive that is not harmful, and it will be present for an extended period of time.

On Thursday, officials said Piedmont Natural Gas is continuing to mobilize assets and crews to make needed repairs to the transmission line as safely and quickly as possible. The company is still monitoring the area for safety, and town officials say the necessary evacuations have been made.

Initial evacuations included about 25 households, but as of Thursday, all but seven have been able to return home. Citizens can expect a continued odor for several more days.

Officials say the smell is due to an additive in the natural gas called Mercaptan, and they say it is not harmful.

If you have a concern that is not life-threatening, please call the Non-Emergency Communications line at 252-426-5751. The Incident Command Post will be manned throughout the night to monitor the situation.