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Cornelius News

Gas break rocks Alexander Farm area

Westmoreland was closed for 2 hours

[Updated] Sept. 20. By Dave Yochum. A major gas line break that sounded like a roaring jet at Alexander Farms has brought traffic to a halt on Westmoreland and West Catawba where the $110 million mixed-use project is under construction.

It’s unknown if there are any injuries, but witnesses said there was the sound of an enormous explosion around 2:10 pm.


One witness, Justin Ckezepis, a resident of Preston at the Lake, said: “I don’t know what this is but it’s big.” He shot a video of the incident; click here to view it.

East-bound traffic (toward Jetton) is being redirected through the Robbins Park neighborhood and sent back to Huntersville.

Sounded ‘like a plane crash’

Jon Show said the explosion occurred only 200-300 yards from his home in Robbins Park.

“In all honesty it sounded like a plane went down. The rumble went on so long you knew it wasn’t fire,” Show said. He said there was now a gas odor in the Robbins Park neighborhood.

—There is a continuous roaring sound, according to nearby resident Brian Stack.


—At 6 pm Fire Chief Guerry Barbee confirmed no injuries.

—At 4:20 pm, Cornelius Police issued an all clear. The natural gas line is shut down; Westmoreland Road is open.

–At 4 pm, westbound traffic on West Catawba Avenue was getting back to normal. Eastbound traffic is very slow until you pass Westmoreland, which is still closed.

—School buses are being redirected around Westmoreland, which is closed. Dozens of utility workers on scene.

—At 3:30 pm CFD was asking people within a half mile to shelter in place.

—At least one school bus at Grand Oak Elementary in Huntersville was delayed because of the traffic.

—Roaring gas heard as far as Birkdale.