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Contractors hit gas line near Cascade East Veterinary Clinic, cause gas leak.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - U.S. Highway 97 was closed for a gas line leak on the south end of Madras Aug. 8, for about 90 minutes. 
For more than an hour and a half last Thursday, a gas leak closed U.S. Highway 97, near businesses on the south end of Madras.

At 11:21 Aug. 8, the smell of a gas leak was reported in the area of Cascade East Veterinary Clinic and Burger King, on the southwest corner of the Palisades Shopping Center.

"Excavation contractors hit the line while digging for communications lines," said Brian Huff, fire chief for the Jefferson County Fire District, noting that the 2-inch natural gas line was located on the northwest corner of the Cascade East property.

A crew from Cascade Natural Gas responded to the scene around 12:15 p.m., to repair and cap the line.

"We stopped highway traffic and monitored for explosive levels in the Cascade East building until they could get everyone out," said Huff. "We also shut down the open flames in the Burger King for precaution, even though the winds were blowing steadily away from the building."

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services also responded to the scene. Traffice was detoured to Highway 361, until Highway 97 was reopened at 1 p.m.

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