Officials: Farmingdale 'all clear' after evacuation
Residents and employees of local businesses have been given the "all clear" to return to a Farmingdale neighborhood evacuated Thursday because of a gas leak, village officials said.
Village administrator Brian Harty said Mayor Ralph Ekstrand, who was at the scene on South Front Street, was given word by emergency responders, including police, firefighters and National Grid, that the leak had been contained at 12:40 p.m. -- about an hour after it was reported.
In addition to police evacuations of the area west to Elizabeth Street and south to Conklin Street, the Long Island Rail Road had also suspended service in the area. The site is adjacent to the railroad station in Farmingdale, officials said.
Harty said firefighters from Farmingdale and neighboring Bethpage arrived minutes after the leak was reported and said that Nassau County also dispatched officials from the Office of Emergency Management to the scene.
A spokeswoman for National Grid, Wendy Ladd, said emergency crews located the leak in a valve bordering a construction site -- but could not immediately say how the leak occurred.
Harty said that during the evacuation, officials opened Village Hall to anyone needing to get out of the cold. The village uses the hall as a warming center in winter, offering coffee and hot chocolate to anyone seeking refuge, Harty said.
"We just want to make sure they're safe," Harty said of anyone who was inconvenienced by the situation.