Gas leak prompts partial evacuation around Harborview Boardwalk

Several businesses in the area at the Harborview Boardwalk on the Homer Spit were evacuated on Saturday afternoon about 12:20 p.m. after workers hit a gas service line in the boardwalk parking lot by Captain Pattie’s Fish House. Police also closed off a section of the Homer Spit Road from the Harborview Boardwalk lot, said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl.

Enstar Natural Gas spokesperson John Sims said workers hit the service line near a gas meter. Robl said workers were installing steel barriers in front of the meter in the parking lot by Captain Pattie’s.

“The idea was to protect the meter from being hit,” Robl said. “They actually punctured the line.”

Sims said Enstar crew clamped the line closed with modified pliers designed to shut off gas in ruptures. The line and other utilities had been located and marked, he said.

“When you’re digging next to utilities, you need to proceed with caution,” Sims said.

Because natural gas is lighter than air, it dissipates quickly, Sims said. Natural gas has a flammability range of from 5 to 15 percent, meaning it has to be in those concentrations to catch on fire.

In the event of a leak, Sims advised people to step back and contact Enstar at 877-907-9767. If life or property is in danger, call 911.

Property owners and workers who damage gas lines can be billed for repairs and even lost gas, Sims said.