NORWICH – A section of roadway between Oxford and Norwich has been shut down due to a NYSEG Natural Gas Leak fire and downed power lines.
According to Chenango County Fire Bureau Director Matthew Beckwith, at approximately 9 p.m. on Sunday night the Norwich Fire Department was dispatched to help control the scene of downed wires.
“Apparently there was a leak in NYSEG’s main natural gas line down by Jeffrey’s Used RV,” said Beckwith. “When the high tension power line went down it ignited the gas leak, and it has been burning since.”
“NYSEG has been there since last night, but the problem is that there’s a lot of gas in that line so they have to let the residue burn off before they’ll be able to work on the power or gas lines.”
Beckwith said there haven’t been any injuries reported in the incident, but businesses and families throughout the area will likely be without power or gas until later this afternoon.
He said portions of Preston, the northern section of Oxford, and some of Norwich have been without power since last night.
“My understanding is that one of the local business owners detected the odor of gas earlier in the day, but there was never a report made with us,” he added. “This situation is no different from a pipeline flaring, and believe it or not if it wasn’t burning we’d have even bigger problems.”
“We’re treating this sort of like a controlled burn at this point, but NYSEG is anticipating that the road will be reopened sometime in the afternoon.”
Beckwith said individuals who are heading from the Oxford area to Norwich are recommended to use East River Road to pass by the area. He said those coming from Norwich to Oxford can use County Road 32 for alternative travel. Beckwith added that Walmart is still accessible at this time.
“Even though a portion of Route 12 is closed everyone can still get to the Walmart area, but not too far past that, and it is closed down by Jeffrey’s Used RV,” he said. “We will send out more information once the road has reopened.”
At the time of writing on Monday morning, NYSEG’s outage list didn’t show any electric outages in Chenango County.