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Cottage Grove neighborhood evacuated after gas line break

Xcel Energy is on the scene working to control the break.

A neighborhood of Cottage Grove was evacuated mid-morning Monday after a gas line broke in the area of 94th Cove South. 

The gas line break happened in a cul-de-sac, and the code red message was sent to homes within a quarter-mile radius of the break "advising of the situation in case residents smell gas," according to Cottage Grove Public Safety

Xcel Energy workers are on the scene and the public safety department says residents in the immediate area were evacuated for safety, while surrounding areas were told to alert authorities if they smell natural gas

A code red alert, according to the City of Cottage Grove, is issued to residents for critical communications for evacuation orders, missing child alerts and other emergencies. 

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Cottage Grove Public Safety noted that a nearby school, Pinehill Elementary, which is just north of the gas line break, is safe from the vapors because the wind is blowing it in the opposite direction. 

According to the National Weather Service, winds are out of the west at 10-20 mph with even stronger gusts. 

Park High School is about two-and-a-half miles northeast of the broken gas line, so it's clear of the code red zone. 

Here are some helpful tips from Xcel Energy about how to recognize dangerous natural gas leaks. 

  1. Smell: Natural gas is odorless except for the harmless odorant we add to help you detect a leak. The added odorant, called mercaptan, has a sulfur-like smell, similar to a rotten egg.
  2. Hear: A leak may produce a noise that ranges from next to nothing to a slight hiss to a loud roar, depending on the leak’s size and pressure.
  3. See: A leak may cause dust, dirt or debris to fly, or create blowing or continuous bubbling movement in water. It also can cause a spot of dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area.

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