Natural gas leak closes street and school; residents asked to leave while repairs are made

Published 9:27 am Tuesday, October 1, 2019

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AHOSKIE – An apparent issue with a natural gas line this morning (Tuesday) has forced the closure of First Street and Ahoskie Elementary School. Meanwhile, residents living near the school have been asked to leave their homes until the issue can be resolved.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that the problem is in an area on First Street, across from the school. He said Piedmont Natural Gas officials were notified of the problem and has sent a crew to make repairs.

“At this point, we do not know how long the repairs will take,” Fitzhugh stated at 9 a.m. this morning. “There’s a strong smell of gas in that area, which was reported to us at 6:42 a.m.”

The Ahoskie Fire Department was immediately dispatched at that time. Fitzhugh said Ahoskie Fire Chief Michael Bradley made the recommendation to Hertford County Schools Superintendent Dr. William Wright to close Ahoskie Elementary for the day, as well as asking the residents in that immediate area to evacuate.

“That is the only school affected,” Fitzhugh said. “We felt we needed to err on the side of caution when dealing with a gas leak that’s so close to a school full of young children and the staff there.”

Traffic using the portion of First Street between Academy Street and Hertford County High School is currently being re-routed.

Fitzhugh also recommended that walkers/joggers avoid that area.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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