Gas Leak Forces Evacuation of Homer Spit

Aaron Selbig

     A busy Saturday afternoon at the Homer harbor was interrupted over the weekend by a report of a natural gas leak. 

     The report came in shortly after noon. Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins says the leak forced an immediate evacuation of most of the harbor area.

     “Traffic was closed off (and) access to the Spit was stopped," said Hawkins. "Then Enstar came down and plugged the line.”

     John Sims is spokesperson for Enstar Natural Gas Company. He says the leak was caused by a construction crew working in the area of the newly-installed gas main that runs to the end of the Homer Spit. Sims says the crew did not heed markers in place to warn of the pipe’s location and when they started digging, they “nicked” the pipe.

     Service technicians were on the scene quickly and pinched off the line to stop the leak. Sims says the flexible nature of the gas lines make them relatively easy to seal off in the event of a leak. 

     Sims says that because natural gas is lighter than air, there is minimal safety risk during a small leak like this one.