COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Roads have reopened after a gas line break forced them to shut down for several hours, and nearby businesses to evacuate. It happened around 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Collier Boulevard and Rattlesnake Hammock Road. A contractor digging at the intersection hit a two inch natural gas line.
What's typically a busy stretch of roadway in East Naples was empty this morning. No cars were allowed on Collier Boulevard between Rattlesnake Hammock Road and Davis Boulevard as crews from the county and TECO gas company worked to get a gas leak under control.
"A contractor using a drilling rig damaged a natural gas pipeline," said TECO spokesperson, Cherie Jacobs.
The nearby Naples Lakes Village Center was evacuated for close to three hours.
"Crews went out there immediately and made it safe," said Jacobs.
For Dr. Shelley Gothard with the Sabal Palm Animal Hospital, that meant extra work rescheduling all of the days appointments.
"A little bit more phone calls and checking the voice mail from my house and calling people and putting an announcement on my phone so they knew what was going on, why we weren't answering the phone," said Dr. Gothard.
Dr. Gothard said many clients decided to wait.
"A lot of people called and said they'd come by tomorrow, I couldn't get to the office," said Gothard.
But for the gas company and the county, their work is only getting started. The pressure from the pipe forced the roadway to rise, so repairs will have to be made to the southbound lanes of Collier Boulevard near Rattlesnake Hammock Road. And instead of repairing the broken line, crews will install a new one underground.