Gas leak closes Swifts Beach for several hours
This article has been updated with information from the Wareham Fire Department press release.
A major gas leak on Swifts Beach Road forced a shutdown of the neighborhood lasting several hours on Tuesday, Nov. 29, temporarily closing the road to all pedestrians and vehicles.
The leak, caused by Eversource Energy drilling to install a telephone pole, was first reported at 9:14 a.m. Crews of firefighters from Wareham, Onset and Marion, as well as EMS and workers from National Grid, arrived on the scene. No injuries were reported, but firefighters responded to reports of strong gas odor. In the meantime, an engine company from Bourne took care of unrelated emergencies. No injuries were reported, but firefighters responded to reports of gas odors.
Nearby homes were evacuated and the neighborhood was essentially locked down.
In a phone call to Wareham Week, Swifts Beach resident Mary Stanton said that there was no way in or out of the neighborhood.
Residents were left stranded at Cranberry Cottage and the Wareham Country Market, waiting for the road to reopen. School buses had to use an access road to the Cromesett area, cut by the Municipal Maintenance Department, to take children home.
“Dave Menard and the crew from the Municipal Maintenance Department did a tremendous job making the Swifts Beach area accessible for both emergency traffic and residents,” Wareham Fire Chief John Kelley said in a press release. “I really appreciate what they did.”
“While an extremely hazardous condition was present,” Kelley said, “our department, along with the mutual aid companies, took aggressive measures to avert a disaster.”
The leak was not brought under control until 4:09 p.m. Tuesday. At 4:48 p.m., the Wareham Police Department announced on its Facebook page that Swifts Beach Road reopened to one lane of traffic.