A major bridge was closed and three buildings evacuated in downtown Cedar Rapids because of a gas leak this morning. Cedar Rapids Fire Department spokesperson Greg Buelow says it happened just before 9 a.m. near the Eighth Avenue bridge on the southeast side of downtown.
A Casey’s General Store, the Federal Courthouse and a YMCA were evacuated as a precaution. No one was injured. Up to 200 people were evacuated from the area for just over two hours. “There were no elevated gas readings (in the buildings), but there’s a strong odor of gas and quite frankly, you can smell it for several blocks,” Buelow said.
A MidAmerican Energy crew put a cap on the gas leak. Buelow says a boring company was working in the area and hit a six-inch gas line. “It caused quite a disruption in the area, especially with traffic,” Buelow said.