Gas leak evacuates part of Rock Falls neighborhood

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A few homes were evacuated and a short stretch of Dixon Avenue closed after a city crew struck a six-inch gas main in Rock Falls, Illinois.

It happened at about 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2013 when a city electric department crew working in the 1000 block of Dixon Avenue struck the main.  Police said there was no explosion or fire but the break allowed a large amount of natural gas to be released into the air.

Homes on the north side of the 1000 block of Dixon Avenue were evacuated.  The 1000 and 1100 blocks of Dixon Avenue were closed to traffic.

Police said East Coloma School and the nearby Rehabilitation Center were not evacuated and were not in any danger.

People may notice a strong odor of natural gas in the area, and nearby residents were told to keep windows closed until the all-clear was given.

At 10 a.m., police said the repair was expected to take three to four hours.