Saturday, May 22, 2010
Two weeks ago I was mowing the lawn in my backyard and ran over some low-growth ivy that up to now I used to trim by hand, but bending down these days would be much painful. About 4 feet from the house, hidden in the ivy, there was a natural gas line capped about 1 inch above the ground. As I mowed over the area a sudden explosion lifted my mower a foot or so and the gas was fast hissing up into the air. I pulled the mower very fast as far away as I could, ran into my house and called 911. In minutes (with the sirens going full blast) four huge fire trucks appeared, eight firemen in gas masks, and all the neighbors of my street. Police cars blocked off the street and everybody was ordered far away from my place (including me, whose knees were still shaking).
Hoses were pulled, gas and electric company trucks showed up while it took them about one good hour to stop the leak and re-cap the old, rusty pipe.
I do not have natural gas in my house and nobody has it in the neighborhood either. I live here 16 years without even noticing this very old gas line hidden in my yard. I have no idea if the gas company knew about it or not, but certainly has neglected to mark it. I was very lucky to escape a disaster, and now the line is completely cut off from the main.
Somebody sure was watching over me.