Evacuation order lifted in Cayuga Co. after gas line rupture
Sept. 20 Photos from the scene
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Aurelius (WSYR-TV) – An evacuation order in the Cayuga County town of Aurelius has been lifted. Officials say about 70 homes were evacuated early Tuesday due to a ruptured gasoline pipeline. However, crews will remain on the scene throughout the night and possibly into the morning hours as they continue to clean up the mess left behind.
We're also told county officials will go door-to-door asking folks to check their water and make sure it's safe to drink.
Cayuga County 911 says the pipeline on Turnpike Road at Townsend Road was struck by excavating equipment around 10:26 Tuesday morning.
The 10-inch gas line runs from Rochester to Cayuga County, then branches off and goes around the US.
Gas was running out of the pipe for between 45 minutes and an hour before it was shut off in Montezuma and the town of Sennett, authorities said. They do not know how much gas was released, but that it has covered an area equal to "multiple football fields" with four inches of gasoline.
Todd Dumont, a farmer who leases the land, was laying drainpipe when he struck the gas line, which was mismarked by the company that operates it, Buckeye, according to officials. The authorities said Dumont has been cooperative with them.
Well water and a creek are in the area of the leak. Crews are skimming the creek in a manner similar to oil spill clean-up and using shop vac equipment on the land.
Roughly 3,000 gallons of gasoline has been cleaned up so far.
Seventy properties and 100 people were evacuated from the area. West side residents were asked to stay inside, while residents on the east side were asked to leave.
Evacuated neighborhoods included Turnpike Road from Fosterville Road to Canoga Road; Townsend Road in its entirety; and Beach Road from Townsend to Turnpike.
More than 200 emergency personnel and other specialists are on the scene. The Department of Environmental Conservation is handling investigations into the incident and the Health Department is monitoring health concerns.
People near the spill are being told to remain inside and use bottled water, not their wells.
If well water has a sheen, odor or taste of gasoline the Health Department is advising residents not to drink the water or use it for any household use.
The Cayuga County Health Department will be working in collaboration with the New York State Health Department to sample well-water on Wednesday. Anyone with concerns about their water quality can call the Health Department at 253-1405.