RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Things at Catherine and Second Streets in Rensselaer have started to wind down.
Firefighters left the scene within the last hour and National Grid has started to allow people back into their homes. A potent odor of gas in the air has also finally started to fade away after some four hours.
Around 7:45 a.m., police say crews from Casale Excavating were doing some infrastructure work for the city. They were working to separate the storm and sewer lines when they clipped a two inch natural gas line. The first happened in the area of Second Street and Catherine Street where an excavator hits gas line.
Firefighters, police and National Grid were called to the scene immediately. Deputy Chief of the Rensselaer Police Department, James Frankoski, says they then had to dig holes on both sides of the leak to pinch the lines at each end. It was only supposed to take a half hour or so, but because of complications it ended up taking a couple of hours. In the meantime, some 14 houses were evacuated.
“The gas was, you couldn’t see it, but it was going up into the air into the tree, you could see the trees moving,” said James Frankoski, Dept. Chief, Rensselaer Police Department. We’ve evacuated four houses in all directions and the four on the corner has their gas shut off,” he continued.
The second leak is on Island View and Linden Streets in the Clinton Heights section of East Greenbush.
People have been allowed back into their homes, the leak has been stopped and crews are working to repair the pipe and get back to work.