UPDATE: Monticello police say safe to return to homes after gas - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Monticello police say safe to return to homes after gas leak

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE:  The police department says it is now safe for people to return to their homes.  

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The Monticello Police Department says they expect it will take until 6:00 p.m. to fix a gas leak that caused 25-30 homes and businesses to be evacuated Thursday afternoon.

Monticello Fire Chief Don McCarthy says crews were digging to install a new fire hydrant when they hit the line.

Because the line is right under the main power line for the city, Alliant Energy was called in to shut that power down before crews from Black Hills could fix the leak.

The gas leak did impact the Monticello Schools District Office, which had to evacuate.  Superintendent Brian Jaeger said their busses were also moved, but expected after school bussing to continue as normal.  No schools were affected by the leak.

McCarthy says although no one was hurt during the process, a number of Monticello businesses took a big hit while being shut down.

"We have roads shut off and businesses shut down. Unfortunately, a couple businesses like Happy Joe's and Casey's are affected by this, and this is a busy time of day for them. It's unfortunate for them, but safety is the most important thing," he said.

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Between 25 and 30 homes and businesses in Monticello are being evacuated because of a gas leak.

The Monticello Police Department posted on their Facebook page that those who are forced out can get shelter at the Monticello Community Building.

Areas in the 400 to 700 block of South Main Street, 400 to 700 block South Maple, 500 to 600 block of South Haven Drive, 200 block of East South Street are affected.

The leak is expected to be fixed within three to five hours.

Those who are displaced are asked to not go back for personal belongs, and if you need help call City Hall at (319) 465-3577.

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