Water & gas leak damages South Osprey Avenue in Sarasota

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SARASOTA - Work crews will work into the night repairing damage to Osprey Avenue caused by a gas leak and a water main break at Grove Street.  The water and gas lines have been safely capped off.

On Friday around 10:45am, a construction company installing a new natural gas main at the intersection hit a water main, causing a major break in the line. The pressure from the water main break then damaged a gas main in the same area.

“The hole is filled with water, so it's making it very difficult for them to find exactly where the leaks are, in both the gas line and the water line,” said Capt. Susan Pearson with the Sarasota County Fire Department.

Officers responded and set up road blocks, evacuating some of the homes closest to the water and gas mains. Osprey Avenue was flooded but the water did not damage any homes.  However, a crater estimated to be 70 feet long and 7 feet wide was created on Osprey Avenue, and a nearby sidewalk buckled.

For safety, power was cut in a one-mile radius, which included nearby Southside Elementary School. The school was evacuated and students were bused to Brookside Elementary School for parent pick-up.

“We were just eating lunch and everyone started screaming because the power went out,” said one student.

Ary Wolfe-Herman's teacher texted Ary's mother. “It wasn't concerning hearing the power was out, but when I turned the corner and saw all the fire trucks, I was very concerned. So I ran several blocks to the school,” said Christina Wolfe.

Osprey Avenue remains closed until it is safe for traffic. Traffic is being detoured around the incident which may cause an increase in traffic on S. Tamiami Trail.