BEATRICE – Part of East Court Street was shut down in Beatrice today, because of a natural gas line break. Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang says police, firefighters and a Black Hills Energy crew were sent to the area of 16th and Court, at about 10:30 a.m.
:08 “previous leak”
The odor of the chemical in natural gas was strong in the immediate area when emergency personnel were sent to the scene. Police have been closing off the area for at least one block north and south of the area…..and up to two to three blocks along East Court, which is also U.S. Highway 136. The Beatrice Public Library, located off the northeast corner of the intersection, was evacuated after the line broke.
:10 “a chance with that”
Several homes are located nearby, but had not been evacuated, as of 11 a.m.
:05 “to do that”
Chief Lang said it was not certain how long the highway would be blocked, today.
:09 “and things”
Black Hills Energy personnel were observed cutting through concrete at the intersection of 16th and Court, using a saw and a backhoe. Firefighters, fire trucks and a rescue vehicle remained on the scene as of late morning. Court Street was blocked to traffic from at least 13th to 19th Street. Police radio traffic just prior to noon, indicated the highway may remain closed to traffic, until close to 1 p.m.
Black Hills Energy spokesperson Brandy Johnson says to safely facilitate repairs, customers in the area will temporarily lose natural gas service today. She says Black Hills Energy will restore service and visit each customer to re-light gas appliances.
At locations where no one is home or the business is closed, a tag will be left on the door notifying the customer that the natural gas has been shut off and to call the company for it to be turned back on. Customers with questions about restoring service should contact Black Hills Energy at 1-888-890-5554.