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Posted: 06/11/14


LINE REPAIRS

Above, SEMCO Energy workers secure a gas line that was ruptured when a farmer was removing tree stumps on Indian Trail north of 26 Mile Road in Ray Township. The rupture occurred the evening of
June 8.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Stump removal ruptures
gas line in Ray Township

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      A ruptured natural gas line on June 8 knocked out services to multiple residents in Ray and Macomb townships.
       Around 9:30 p.m., a farmer removing stumps from property on the west side of Indian Trail north of 26 Mile Road struck an eight-inch steel SEMCO Energy gas main.
       Crews were dispatched to the site and worked throughout the night and the next day to secure the pipeline. The Ray Township Fire Department was on site to assist.
       Tim Lubbers, SEMCO Energy spokesman, said there was no evidence of ignition or an explosion, and no injuries were reported. He said when the line was ruptured it likely created a loud noise as gas leaked out.
       "We're not aware of any explosion," he said.
       SEMCO is reporting that the farmer did not put in a call to Miss Dig, which would've surveyed the land to determine the location of underground utilities. Lubbers said, however, that the pipeline is already marked.
       "The rupture occurred not far from one of the markers," he said.
       He said natural gas outages don't occur often, but an estimated 85 to 100 customers in Ray and Macomb townships near 27 Mile and Indian Trail were expected to lose their gas services due to the accident.
       "It's not like an electric outage where we just turn things back on," he said.
       To restore services, SEMCO has to visit each home and shut off the valves, re-pressurize it and return to each home to re-establish the service and ensure equipment is working properly.
       Lubbers expected restoration efforts to continue into Monday evening. Updates can be found on www.semcoenergygas.com or by calling (800) 624-2019.
       For any plowing, digging or excavating work, residents and businesses are encouraged to call Miss Dig at 811 three days prior to the work.
      


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