Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 24 July 2013 09:04
Twelve homes were evacuated after Nassau County contractors punctured a 4-inch gas main on Sheridan Boulevard in Mineola on Tuesday, July 16. This was their first day of work on the county’s portion of the Bruce Terrace Flood Project.
The flood project plan should remediate issues on the Mineola/Carle Place border. Work also halted on Dow Avenue at the time of the leak.
The Mineola Fire Department received the call at about 9:40 a.m. of gas smells and was on scene around 10:30 a.m., according to Chief Jeff Clark, who was out of town when the call came in and rushed back. New Hyde Park, Garden City, Williston Park fire departments and the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corp responded as well.
“We got the call and secured the area, evacuated neighboring homes,” Clark said. “Residents were put on our command-post vehicle, which has air conditioning. They were comfortable and safe.”
National Grid shut down the gas line, which runs the length of Sheridan, and broke up the street on the south end near Westbury Avenue to secure the leak, according to Clark. Grid reps said they got the call at 10:16 a.m. The site was deemed safe at 11:33 a.m. and gas service was up and running at 2:30 p.m.
“This is the main line that runs the length of Sheridan Boulevard that was ruptured,” Clark said. “[National Grid] secured it on one end and worked on the south end, digging a hole to secure it there, which will make it safe.”
Mayor Scott Strauss, a former MFD fire chief, was on the scene along with Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini and Building Superintendent Dennis Whalen.
“We’re very fortunate in Nassau County, certainly in the Mineola area, to have a mutual aid agreement that makes all neighboring fire departments work well together,” Strauss said.
The mayor arrived on the scene at 10:40 a.m. Because the wind was carrying the gas smell past the affected area, authorities moved the summer recreation program out of the northern part of Wilson Park, which is directly south of Sheridan Boulevard.
“Strictly as a precaution,” Strauss said. “There’s no threat of an explosion that far away. Thankfully there’s a breeze. It’s dissipating very very quickly. Unfortunately it was an inconveince to the residents but it’s better than the alternative. [The residents] cooperation was deeply appreciated.”
The county will install two new catch basins, five new manholes and 1,715 feet of 36-or 48-inch bypass pipes on Sheridan Boulevard from Raff Avenue, crossing Westbury Avenue and entering Mineola’s recharge basin near Wilson Park. The Nassau Interim Finance Authority approved funding for Nassau County’s part of a plan on May 15. County public works offficials did not return calls for comment.