Employees and personnel are being allowed back into several Evans business closed around noon because of a nearby gas leak. The leak forced the evacuation of an Evans restaurant, bank and several other nearby businesses around noon, said Pam Tucker, Columbia County Emergency and Operations director.
A natural gas line is leaking on Evans Town Center Boulevard near Evans to Locks Road. Due to the threat, Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue officials evacuated Pablano's Mexican Restaurant, Security Federal Bank, Bill Beazley Homes, Fairway Ford and several nearby offices, according to Columbia County sheriff's deputies on the scene.
Construction crews building sidewalks along Evans Town Center Boulevard broke a service line away from the main line just before noon. Intersections of Evans to Locks Road at Evans Town Center Boulevard, Washington Road and N. Belair Road have been reopened. Evans Town Center Boulevard remains closed from Evans to Locks Road to the back entrance road to the Kroger shopping center while Georgia Gas Light Co. crews complete final repairs.
The gas leak was very visible and could be smelled as far away as Washington Road and the Kroger shopping center parking lot.