Clarkstown Police closed New Hempstead Road between West Clarkstown Road and Rheinlander Lane to traffic this morning after a contractor hit an unmapped gas line at about 9:30 a.m. There were no injuries but 46 Orange & (O&R) customers had their gas service turned off and will not get it back until late afternoon or this evening.
O&R Spokesman Mike Donovan said a contractor working for the utility company hit an unmapped gas line running off a 12" main. The incident occurred on New Hempstead Road across from Sycamore Drive. The contractor was working on laying new gas pipe as part of the New Hempstead Road reconstruction project.
Donovan said four valves were shut off after the contractor hit the unused pipe and cracked the main line. The repair process requires emptying the pipes of gas, replacing the broken portion and refilling the pipes with gas. Then pilot lights must be re-lit for each of the affected customers. Donovan said the repairs should be completed in the afternoon and service restored to customers by late afternoon or tonight.