SHELBY TWP. (WWJ) – Classes have been canceled at Shelby Junior High School Friday after a gas main break on Van Dyke Road.

Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said the leak was identified early Friday morning on Van Dyke between 23 and 24 Mile roads.

Authorities working in the area said the leak was so bad, they could hear the loud hiss of gas flying into the air. They also said gas fumes were the only thing they could smell.

Stathakis said hundreds of area residents were evacuated and Friday classes were called off at Shelby Junior High School as a precaution.

“The details right now are sketchy but obviously we’re going to be looking into it. We do want to find out what cause this, we don’t want this happening again,” said Stathakis.

Consumers Energy Spokesperson Deborah Dodd said an issue with the pressure of the gas could be to blame.

“We have a city gate, which is a piece of equipment where our gas comes in and we regulate the pressure of the gas, and if there’s ever an anomaly, either too high or too low of a pressure, there are special valves that are designed to open up and release gas,” she said.

Dodd said that valve has now been closed.

Van Dyke Road was closed between 23 and 24 Mile roads for nearly two hours, but has since reopened.

Stathakis thanked all those who were involved for their quick response in handling the situation.

“Everyone has just been really cooperative. We got a lot of help from the county and, of course, our police and fire departments were there. Everyone is safe, that’s the main thing,” said Stathakis.

Reporters are gathering details. Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and for the latest.


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