Published DateNORTHFIELD – A natural gas leak forced the evacuation of about three homes and an apartment block last night on Elm Street, sending residents into the cold from about 9:15 p.m. to midnight.
Tilton-Northfield Fire Chief Brad Ober said Liberty Utilities was notified after a passerby reported the smell of natural gas coming from a man hole.
He said Cannon Bridge was closed and will remain so until the leak is fixed.
Northfield Police Lieutenant John Raffaelly said yesterday that the gas company crews are being hampered by cold weather and about three feet of permafrost on Elm Street.
He said Monday evening's evacuation was for the safety of all the residents in the immediate area.
One woman told the Sun she and her boyfriend were getting ready to go to bed when the police came and asked them to leave.
She said the two drove in their car over Cannon Bridge and waited in the Big Apple Convenience Store. She said others waited in the store with them or stayed in their cars.
Raffaelly said the gas company will be working to repair the problem and could be on Elm Street through today. He said the best way to get to that portion of Elm Street is to go down to Park Street and take a left at Summer Street.
He said residents in the ares can return to their homes, however, they may not be able to drive down that section of Elm Street.
CAPTION: Workers and equipment from Liberty Utilities work to repair gas lines that are well below the frozen surface of Elm Street yesterday afternoon. The leak was noticed Monday night. Cannon Bridge, which is to the left in this photo is closed until the repairs are complete. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)