Power line, gas leak force evacuation in Shannon

Residents returned home the next day after Friday-night evacuation

SHANNON – Residents were forced to evacuate Friday night due to a gas line rupture caused by a fallen power line.

Nobody was injured during the incident, which began about 5 p.m. Friday.

Fire Chief Jim Klinefelter said a power line came down at Stanton Street and state Route 72, on the village’s east side.

“When the line came down, it came down on the metal grate on the road and put electricity through the metal grate. It blew a hole in the gas pipe. It was a 1-inch gas line that was struck,” Klinefelter said.

The cause of the line’s fall was still unknown Saturday, Klinefelter said.

While Nicor put two caps on the gas line, police, fire and other emergency responders evacuated everyone within five blocks north and south of Route 72. The evacuation covered much of the village, from Casey’s General Store on Shannon’s west side to Diamond Auto Sales at 317 E. Market St. on the village’s east side.

Village President Bonnie Foust said those residents who couldn’t go to relatives’ homes were evacuated to Eastland Elementary School.

“Everybody did their bit. People helped call people and knocked on doors, and the fire department went door to door,” Foust said.

The elementary school lacked power for a while, but electricity was eventually restored.

“The Red Cross did come and bring food. We ordered a bunch of pizzas. Shannon ambulances were there. If older people needed medicine or insulin, people would take them home and take them right back,” Foust said.

Klinefelter said the majority of residents were released to go home between midnight and 12:30 a.m. Saturday, with everyone home by 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

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