Church Hill gas leak forces 2 blocks to evacuate - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Church Hill gas leak forces 2 blocks to evacuate

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CHURCH HILL, VA (WWBT) -

People in Church Hill were allowed back inside their homes Sunday night, after a natural gas leak forced two blocks of neighbors outside, in the rain.

The evacuations happened in the 2500 block of Phaup Street, after an intense smell of gas.

Crews are working overnight to fix a break in the gas pipe.

A spokesperson for the Richmond Department of Public Utilities says gas in twenty homes will likely be turned back on by early morning.

Isaiah Hardy, 17, says his family was told to evacuate.

"We heard the siren -- they came around saying we had to leave my grandparent's house," said Hardy, who was interrupted from studying for a biology test. "Tired and soaking wet."

Three other young men weren't allowed to cross the street. Their apartment was just around the corner.

"We've been waiting here the whole time. They've been turning cars around," said Kevin Jackson, with his buddies. The group waited on the corner since taking another route home would mean walking several miles on foot.

"It's a long walk, basically. It's a little too cold to be taking that walk," added Roy Bates.

Firefighters made sure that homes were clear of gas. Utility crews shut off the lines. After more than two hours, residents were allowed back inside.

The fire department called in a city bus to help shelter some neighbors who were stuck outside.

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