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Natural gas leak stopped at Redmond fairgrounds


The latest in a string of natural gas leaks related to the thaw of recent heavy snowfall prompted the evacuation of the Deschutes County Fairgrounds offices for a couple of hours on Tuesday morning.

Around 8:30 a.m., Redmond Fire and Rescue was dispatched to the sprawling fairgrounds after workers reported the smell – and possibly the sound of a rnatural gas leak.

When four employees had arrived to the fairgrounds office Tuesday morning, they smelled gas, called Deschutes County 911 and evacuated the building.

When fire crews arrived, they found a gas meter had been buried under heavy snow and ice that had fallen from the roof at the North Sister buidling.

With the help of Cascade Natural Gas, crews were able to dig out the meter and get the gas turned off in about two hours.

Once the gas was shut off, crews checked levels inside the North Sisters building to make sure no gas concentrations had made theirway inside.

Deputy Fire Marshal Clara Butler said they’ve had several calls on the same problem since the large snowfall. Other area agencies have dealt with similar issues.

“This is just a great reminder that you need to get out, with all the heavy snow we’ve had this year, unbury those gas meters,” Butler said. “Make sure we can get to them and that there is no damage to them, to avoid anything happening like this.”

Fire crews also urged residents to carefully clean the roof above gas meters, to avoid any damage from falling snow and ice.

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