Drivers traveling S.E. Holgate Boulevard near Chavez Boulevard (formerly 39th) on Wednesday morning, April 22, were surprised to see the east-west street closed down. Woodstock Fire Station 25's Engine and Ladder trucks were blocking the roadway.
The reason for the closure was that a small excavator, digging at a residence at 3737 S.E. Holgate Boulevard, had struck a buried gas line.
"We received a call at about 9:45 a.m. that a contractor had damaged a service line," confirmed NW Natural Gas Public Information Officer Stefanie Week.
Dressed in protective so-called "bunny suits", NW Natural workers used gas sensors to pinpoint the location of the damaged underground pipe. "No evacuations were needed; our crews controlled the gas by about 10:30 a.m.," Ms. Week told THE BEE.
And, she added the advice that even if you're just digging in your garden or planting a tree, it's a good idea first to call the Oregon Utility Notification Center by dialing 8-1-1 – they're open 24 hours a day to help individuals and contractors locate buried utilities before they start digging.