Construction crews working on the new streetscape along Main Street, Buzzards Bay, hit a gas main in front of Betty Ann’s Dairy Freeze this afternoon. The incident was called into the Bourne Fire Department at 12:52 PM, said Deputy Chief David M. Kingsbury.
After the emergency call came in, Main Street was closed off to through traffic, and to all local traffic between Perry Avenue and Holt Road, allowing Main Street residents and business people some limited access. The road was closed for a little more than an hour and a half.
Traffic was bumper-to-bumper on the Buzzards Bay By-pass Road during much of that time.
Several businesses, from the Bourne Veterans Memorial Community Center to Ryan Family Amusements, Betty Ann’s included, were evacuated and closed. National Grid was called and responded quickly, and it only took, one town employee said, about 20 minutes to fix the leak once the company arrived on-site. It took a little longer to clear the odor of gas and ensure the safety of people.
The town sent out a reverse 911 call to those in the affected area, informing them of the situation.
Bourne Human Resources Director L. Troye Thompson was eating her lunch at her desk in the community building when the call came in to evacuate. She said she and Recreation Director Krissanne Caron left by the door closest to Betty Ann’s and were hit by a stomach-turningly strong smell of gas. They quickly moved around to the front of the building, where they joined all of the building’s other occupants, as well as employees from nearby businesses.
As soon as the leak was stabilized, police and fire personnel allowed people congregating in front of the center to leave the area. The town employees who were working at the community center were directed to go home rather than try to operate from other government locations.
The elderly clients in the Bourne Council On Aging’s Adult Day Program were taken, first, across to town hall and then bused to Bournedale Elementary School, where arrangements were made with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority for them to be bused home.
Police and fire cleared the scene a little before 3 PM, but National Grid crews were still working in front of Betty Ann’s.