School evacuated, roads closed temporarily in Greenback for gas leak

By J.J. Kindred

A gas leak in Greenback late Wednesday morning caused Greenback School to be put on lockdown and several roads to close temporarily.

According to Greenback Volunteer Fire Chief Ronnie Lett, the leak happened just after 11:30 a.m. in the downtown area, just past the

100 block of Oak Street near the school. A work crew was installing a power pole and accidentally hit the gas line.

No businesses or homes in the area were evacuated, Lett said, and technicians came and checked all of them to make sure there were no other leaks. The school was evacuated as a precaution.

“We didn’t want the kids out playing, so we kept them all inside, just for their safety,” Lett said.

Highway 95 was closed for approximately 45 minutes, while Oak Street and Chilhowee Avenue were each closed for about an hour. Traffic was at a standstill temporarily while the leak was being repaired.

“We had to wait until the gas company got here,” Lett said. “They turned everything off and they were off the road, and (the fire department) didn’t have to stay with them, but it took a couple of hours to get it back on. (The leak) dissipated pretty quick. We just shut if off as a precautionary measure. Two houses that were close to it were empty away.”

No one was reported injured.