Residents in the Highway 7 north area who were evacuated overnight after a 30-inch natural gas line ruptured have been allowed to return home, the Garland County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.
Homes within a half-mile to a mile radius of the rupture were evacuated after the county’s communication center received a report of a possible explosion in the Highway 7 north area at around 11 p.m. Thursday, the release said.
“Enable Gas Co. has crews in route to repair the ruptured section of the pipeline, and have assured the Garland County Sheriff’s Department that the area is safe and that the gas flow has been completely contained. The pipeline is expected to be repaired and operational” today, the release said.
“We are extremely grateful for the excellent response and coordination of all those involved, which allowed this critical incident to be resolved without any injuries, or property damage that we are aware of other than the pipeline itself. All of the evacuated residents who were affected have been released to go back to their homes at this time,” the release said.
Sheriff Mike McCormick thanked Enable Gas Co. and the following first responders for their “efficient and professional response:” County Judge Darrell Mahoney, Garland County Department of Emergency Management, Garland County Sheriff’s Department, Fountain Lake Fire Department, Piney Fire Department, Morning Star Fire Department, Jessieville Fire Department, Hot Springs Village Police Department, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
“A special thanks to the American Red Cross, Fountain Lake School District, Jessieville School District, and Lake Hamilton School District for opening their safe rooms for those who were evacuated from the area,” the release said.
“This was truly a collaborative community effort that once again proves Garland County leads the way.”