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Update: Five homes evacuated, 16 affected after gas leak in Cortez

A gas leak in the 800 block of South Cedar Street caused five homes to be evacuated Friday morning. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Gas smelled blocks away; repair work continues

Five houses were evacuated Friday morning after a gas line was damaged in the 800 block of South Cedar Street in Cortez, according to officials at the scene.

Sixteen residences are affected in the 800 and 900 blocks of South Cedar Street. South Cedar will be closed from Jarrett Avenue to Alameda Drive, the Office of Emergency Management said.

About 10:15 a.m. Friday, the Montezuma County Office of Emergency Management sent a Nixle alert informing residents of the leak.

“If you smell gas outside please do not call dispatch center,” the alert said. “We are aware.”

The county office said about 1:25 p.m. that the leak had been stopped, and crews would continue its repairs until about 7 p.m. before the gas was turned back on.

The line was broken by a construction crew working on the road, said Charlie Borden, battalion chief for the Cortez Fire Protection District.

Atmos Energy was at the scene making the repair to the gas line. A Southwest Health System ambulance arrived to help evacuate a bedridden person from a home near the leak.

Gas could be smelled blocks away. A fire engine from Lewis-Arriola Fire Department was also called to the scene.