Ruptured Gas Line Shuts Down Cedar Lake - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/08/04

Ruptured Gas Line Shuts Down Cedar Lake

Shortly after 10:30 Wednesday morning, a section of Cedar Lake Road turned into a center of confusion.

Steve Shaw with the Biloxi Police Department said "We had to stop traffic on Cedar Lake Road south of the entrance to Pro Gym and south of the Interstate. Everything was diverted around that area".

Firefighters and a Centerpoint service technician hovered around a ruptured underground line, that's been blowing natural gas into the air. As a precaution, officers decided to shut down nearby businesses, including two gas stations and Steve Dietz's McDonald's Restaurant.

Steve Dietz said "How is it affecting business? Well, there isn't any business. We got about 14 employees in here. They're all on a long lunch break. There are no customers coming through, no drive thru, and no cars passing on the street".

Dietz had another reason to feel a little stressed. Some folks from the corporate office were in town to check out his restaurant.

Dietz said "They were going to do a test today to see how our service and everything was going, and of course, we didn't have to worry about service, because the fire department shut down the street".

Next door, the O'Reilley Auto Parts Store had more employees than customers.

Manager Mark Wetzel said "We're going to hurt. We're slow, no business. It's going to be bad".

The frustration kept growing with each passing minute.

Wetzel said "Wish they'd hurry up and fix it so we can get our business back".

Then, help finally arrived. Centerpoint crews used a back hoe and other equipment to squeeze off the flow of gas and start the repairs. By 12:30, traffic flowed move through Cedar Lake once again, much to the relief of nearby businesses.

Dietz said "You have good days and bad days and today was one of those unusual things. You can't let that bother you".

Sims Construction of Gulfport was the company that was drilling under Cedar Lake Road. The company was sub-contracted to install pipes for electrical wiring for a new traffic light.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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