A disturbing summer trend is picking up in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties: Nearly two dozen gas leaks just this month.
The most recent happened Wednesday in the Georgetown neighborhood north of South Bend when a landscaping crew installing a sprinkler system hit a 1/2-inch gas line.
It's the third time a line was hit in that neighborhood during the project.
Clay Fire Territory officials told WSBT it has responded to a gas leak on nine of the last 10 days. Most have been minor and repaired quickly.
NIPSCO says gas leaks are common this time of year because more people are doing yard work or construction. But what lies under that dirt can cause big problems.
So far this month NIPSCO has had to repair 23 damaged gas lines in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties. The company says while most lines have been hit by excavation crews, it's usually one of three things that lead to leaks:
- Digging before having the area marked for utilities. NIPSCO encourages everyone to call 811 before digging. A NIPSCO employee will come out for free within a couple days to locate any buried lines.
- Gas lines are not marked properly.
- People dig too deep.
Even though there have been several gas leaks recently, NIPSCO says it’s actually seen a year over year improvement with fewer leaks in our area.
If a gas line is hit or you smell gas in your home ... leave the area immediately and then call 911.