Gas leak forces evacuation of Big Piney schools and businesses
October 9, 2014
Around 12:30PM on Thursday, Oct. 9th, a contractor working in the area of S. Nichols and Budd Avenue in Big Piney reported a gas link and called 911. The leak impacted the Big Piney Fine Arts Center, Burney & Company grocery store, Bank of the West, and the Big Piney Elementary and Middle School.
There were no injuries.
Big Piney/Marbleton Volunteer Fire Department, Sublette County Fire Warden Chad Cooper, Sublette EMS, and Sublette County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded. Sublette County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Mitchell provided coordination.
It was necessary to evacuate an area of approximately 1,000 feet around the leak. Both schools and Burney’s were closed for a short time. Burney’s has since reopened.
Around lunchtime, the schools were closed. Parents of the Big Piney elementary and middle school were called to pick up their children. Those who weren’t picked up were bussed home.
Rocky Mountain Power and Questar responded. Rocky Mountain Power disconnected power to the Fine Arts Center. Questar shut gas to the two schools and Fine Arts Center. Questar is working to maintain gas service to area residents. No private residents were impacted by the shut-down, only commercial buildings and the schools.
South Nichols Street and the Fine Arts Center building remain closed as of the time of this update (5:15PM Thursday).
Parents are urged to contact their schools for information about the status of school for Friday.
Photos courtesy Sublette County Emergency Management. Thank you to Joe Sampson, Sublette County Fire, for his contribution to this report.