Pulaskia natural gas pipeline ruptures, leaking natural gas

PULASKI, Wis.

— A pipeline rupture near the town of Pulaski, west of Milwaukee, forced the evacuation of hundreds of people and shut down the local electricity system, officials said.

The rupture of the pipeline at the town’s Pekin Power Plant on the edge of town is causing a natural gas leak that’s damaging the local water supply and harming the environment, said Pulaskia Police Chief David Koval.

Pulaskis residents and business owners were told to evacuate Friday morning.

The town is located on a scenic lake bed and a few miles from the townhouse where Mayor Ron Kagan lives.

Residents are being asked to stay at home while authorities inspect the area to determine if it can be safely evacuated.

A state agency is on site, and a helicopter is scheduled to be dispatched to the scene in the coming days, Koval said.

“The water supply is going to be completely shut down, the electricity supply is not going to work,” he said.

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are at the scene and are expected to be at the site for several days, he said, adding that crews will assess the situation over the next few days.

A second pipeline rupture was reported at the nearby Pulasky County Power Plant in March, when a pipeline burst, sending an estimated 1,000 gallons of natural gas and more than 1,200 gallons of brine into the air.

The plant was evacuated.