Punta Gorda neighbors relieved to return home after crash causes gas leak

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Crews respond to a crash involving a gas leak on US-41 in Charlotte County Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Credit: WINK News.

Wednesday night, nearly two dozen homes were evacuated were after two cars hit a natural gas line in Charlotte County. People worried about what would or wouldn’t be there when they returned home. Many in the community want to make the intersection safer.

Crews responded to the crash and gas leak on US-41 near Acline Road in Punta Gorda.

We could still hear the sound of gas escaping a main line when we spoke to Steven Hampton Thursday.

He was among residents in 22 households forced to evacuate when two cars crashed and took out the gas main.

β€œThat was my worst-case scenario thinking, ‘OK, is it going to be anything left when we come back?” Hampton said.

Down the street, Kacey Ogle felt that same fear.

β€œI grabbed my dog. I grabbed my mom’s medicine,” Ogle said. β€œI mean, I didn’t know. I thought our house was actually going to blow. Everybody was getting out.”

For hours, Ogle waited until she could return home.

β€œWe sat up there at Home Depot whole time,” Ogle said. β€œI was just going to watch the boom. I was just waiting for that.”

Finally, Ogle, Hampton and other community members got the all clear to head back home before midnight.

But Hampton waited until Thursday to return home.

Ogle went home right away.

β€œIt feels wonderful to know I still got a home,” Ogle said.

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