Burgaw businesses discuss impact after Pender County gas leak


BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — After a gas leak in Pender County forced certain businesses in Downtown Burgaw and even Pender County Jail to evacuate, people say they noticed a change as crews cleaned up.

“The smell of gas kind of proliferated through the town,” says Harrell’s employee Jeremy Williams. “It was pretty strong.”

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People say they could smell the gas leak before they even knew what was going on.

Thursday afternoon, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office got a call about a gas leak in Burgaw.

The leak forced the Pender County Jail to evacuate. Officials say inmates were transferred to area prisons.

The area around Walker and Wilmington Streets was blocked off all day.

“Now we were fearful it would be a problem this morning,” says The Arts @ Burgaw owner Carolyn Westbrook. “Maybe we might even miss a day.”

Westbrook says they were worried when they still saw roads blocked off Friday morning.

“Everything worked out just fine,” she says. “We had plenty of customers. There was a lot of activity downtown.”

Williams says things were a little slower than normal, but not too bad.

“Not as big of an issue as we thought,” he says. “Today was a little slower than a normal Friday, but what are you going to do.”

A crew member working on the leak says a contractor was drilling and hit a gas line. He says they fixed the leak and Wilmington Street reopened early Friday afternoon.

Businesses say they’re thankful it wasn’t too bad.

“They responded quickly,” Williams says. “I think they got to it as quick as they could.”