UPDATE: Gas leak cleared, Nekoosa residents return home

NEKOOSA, Wis. (WSAW) -- Nekoosa residents are back in their homes after a natural gas leak led to the evacuation of about 15-20 people on Wood Avenue Monday morning.

A car backing out of a driveway on Wood Avenue hit a gas meter attached to a house around 8:45 a.m., according to Nekoosa Fire Chief Mike Hartje.

The natural gas pipe that feeds the meter tore off and caused natural gas to vent into the neighborhood. Authorities evacuated several homes to the east of the incident as a precaution.

The Nekoosa Fire Department went door to door telling impacted residents to evacuate their homes.

WE Energies arrived on scene just after 9:15 a.m. and the gas leak was contained at 9:47 a.m. People were then allowed to return to their homes.

The Nekoosa Community Center was used as a shelter for people who might have not had anywhere to go.

"I think a lot of people knew right away. They all complied, they all worked with the fire department and police and the public works to get out of the way and let the professionals do their work here,” Public Works Director, Rick Schmidt said.

He said he’s pleased with how the community responded to the situation.

WE Energies plans to remain in the neighborhood until the pipe is completely repaired.