Homes evacuated during NH gas leak Wednesday night
A natural gas leak in North Hudson Wednesday night resulted in the evacuation of five homes during one of the coldest nights in several years. Temperatures hovered around 20 degrees below zero.
The incident occurred at a natural gas substation near Galahad Road North and Sommers Street North. The call came in at about 7:45 p.m.
Responding to the scene were the Hudson Fire Department, St. Croix EMS, North Hudson and Hudson police and Xcel Energy. Fire Chief Jim Frye said those evacuated from their homes were housed in ambulances and the North Hudson Village Hall.
Within minutes, officials determined gas levels near the gas pumping station were high enough to warrant evacuation of several residences near the station. Westerly winds, about 7 mph, carried the gas toward Hwy. 35.
Bev Suckow, 201 Summers St. N., said a firefighter knocked on her door about 8:30 p.m. and asked to check gas levels in the home and attached garage.
Suckow's husband, Brian, had just returned from work and was showering when the order to "leave immediately" was issued. Gas levels were strong enough in their attached garage that authorities wouldn't allow them to start their car to drive away.
Instead, they were escorted to a waiting ambulance and shuttled to the area of the North Hudson Village Hall, which had been opened in case residents needed to use restrooms. They weren't allowed to remain in the hall because there was no village employee to monitor them, she said.
Suckow said she saw another couple leave their home with a cat, sheltered in a laundry hamper. At least two other residences were vacant at the time evacuations were ordered.
Traffic through the neighborhood was heavy -- apparently curious onlookers, she said.
At one point, North Hudson officers requested that Washington County deputies block the seasonal ice road, which runs between the Ferry Landing in North Hudson and the Andersen Windows plant at Bayport because so many people were traveling the route to see the activity.
The Suckows were able to return to their home by about 10 p.m.
Emergency responders cleared the scene at about 10:15 p.m.