An unmarked gas main was hit by Alliant Energy workers last week Wednesday, causing a leak large enough to evacuate a neighborhood.

The leak occurred near the corner of Carol and John streets, in front of the home of Barb and Dean Evensen.

The incident occurred at about 11 a.m.

According to Steve Schultz, spokesperson for Alliant, one of the company’s crew “were out setting a streetlight pole and the locate [lines put on the ground showing where utility pipes are] was off, so we did hit one of our own gas mains.”

The main was relatively large — at least a 2-inch pipe, much larger than the 1-inch laterals used to transport gas into homes, according to Alliant Energy officials on the scene.

“Fortunately we were the ones who did it, so we were right there to take care of it,” Schultz said.

The leak was significant enough that, with the strong wind that day, the odor of gas could be smelled several blocks away.

Read the full story in the April 8, 2010 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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