Mckinney Courier-gazette > News
Atmos gas line work to resume Monday along Fenet Street
By Brandi Hart, McKinney Courier-Gazette
Construction to replace Atmos Energy gas lines will resume on Monday along Howard and Seneca Streets, and on Fenet Street in McKinney, where a gas line explosion caused three people to be hospitalized.
Atmos Energy stopped working on gas line replacement work east of State Highway 5 along Fenet Street after workers with its subcontractor, M.J. Sheridan, ruptured a gas line on May 16 and caused two homes to explode and sent three people to a Dallas hospital. Arthur Bryson, Nancy Foster, who is in her 70s, and Raul Moreno were transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas on May 16 after two homes exploded and one was burned due to the gas leak. Bryson and Foster were still in Parkland Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit on Thursday and Moreno has been released from the hospital.
Children who attend the Holy Family School near Fenet Street also had to be evacuated on May 16. Residents who live in the area and children at Holy Family School also had to be evacuated on May 28, after RKM Utility Services crews ruptured a gas line along Seneca and Howard Streets while working on a separate construction project for the city of McKinney. The city put a stop work order on its construction project on Seneca, Fenet and Howard Streets on May 29 because residents who live in the neighborhood were fearful of construction causing another gas leak and possibly another explosion.
Brian Broussard, director of operations for Atmos Energy, told about 20 residents who live near Fenet, Howard and Seneca Streets on Thursday night, at the city’s Promoting Resident Involvement, Development and Enthusiasm, or PRIDE meeting that replacement of the gas lines will resume on Monday. Broussard added that the work should be finished by next Friday.
Five families who live in five houses near where the three homes were destroyed on May 16 did not want to be in their homes next week when Atmos Energy will resume gas line replacement work. Atmos Energy is paying to have the families stay in a local hotel or motel.
An 18-wheeler truck will be in the neighborhood next week to supply gas to homes north of the Branch creek that is in the neighborhood, said Rand LaVonn, public communications manager for Atmos Energy.
Compresses natural gas units will be placed outside of homes along Fenet, Seneca and Howard Streets, which will supply gas to homes while Atmos Energy crews finish installing the new gas lines, LaVonn said. The CNG units will be housed in a locked and secured cage.
An Atmos Energy inspector will be onsite during the entire gas line replacement project, LaVonn said.
John Kessel, the city’s executive director of the Development Services Division which oversees the engineering, planning, code enforcement, and environmental health departments, attended the meeting and said that Broussard has been very helpful in educating the city staff in developing a plan to with residents in the neighborhood about the compressed natural gas units. Kessel added that Broussard has also been very helpful with the residents who live in the area with their concerns.
The Holy Family School also raised $500 during the McKinney Arts & Jazz Festival on June 7 and 8 in downtown, which will be given to assist the families who were affected by the home explosions.
A city of McKinney inspector will also be onsite to supervise and answer any questions from residents about a city infrastructure project on Seneca, Howard and Fenet Streets, which will also resume within the next week. The city is installing new water, sewer, and storm water drainage lines, and repaving the streets.
Rob Daake, the city’s engineering Capital Improvements Program manager, also attended the PRIDE meeting and said construction on Seneca, Fenet and Howard will resume in about one week. Paving work along Seneca, Fenet and Howard streets should be completed, weather permitting, by July 4.
The improvements to Seneca, Howard and Fenet streets are part of the city’s infrastructure improvement initiative that former city manager Isaac Turner created in 1999. The initiative involves replacing old water and sewer lines with new water and sewer lines, adding storm water drainage and repairing streets in McKinney’s older neighborhoods east of 75. Many of the sewer and water lines east of US 75 are old, clay lines, and in some cases have collapsed in the city’s Historic District and outside of the Historic District. The infrastructure improvement initiative projects are paid for through various bonds over a period of time, and the work is completed in various phases.
Many residents also told the city’s development services staff and Lincoln Thompson, who oversees the PRIDE program for the city, at Thursday’s PRIDE meeting that there is a continual problem of mosquito infestation along the Branch creek, that runs along Throckmorton Street.
Kevin Davis told Thompson and the city staff that the city was supposed to address erosion issues along the Branch years ago, but that has not taken place along all areas of the creek. Because of the growth of vegetation and the large drop off in the creek due to the ongoing erosion, areas of the Branch have a large infestation of mosquitoes, Davis said. He met with city officials last Friday, who told him that the city could not address erosion issues along some areas of the Branch until the road construction is completed near the creek, Davis said after the PRIDE meting.
Some residents recently met with Richard Milam, the city’s environmental health specialist, and Thompson about the mosquito problem along the Branch. A contractor treats the water in the Branch to prevent mosquito infestation in the creek every month from April to October, according to city staff.
The city will also have brochures available at city offices that will explain the importance of mosquito control and various tips for homeowners about eliminating mosquito egg-laying sites around their homes and neighborhoods next week during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week from June 22 to 28, said city spokesperson Anna Folmnsbee.
As part of the public education and awareness week, the city would like to remind individuals to the follow the three Ds to defend against mosquitoes: dress in long clothing, drain standing water, and wear DEET, or other approved insect repellents, Folmnsbee said. For more information, call the city at 972-547-7500.
Contact staff writer Brandi Hart at email@example.com.
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