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RESIDENTS HEARD FAMILIAR RING WHEN ORDERED TO LEAVE HOMES

SHARE RESIDENTS HEARD FAMILIAR RING WHEN ORDERED TO LEAVE HOMES

Residents who were told to evacuate homes along 4500 South from 1500 East to Highland Drive Saturday said the request sounded awfully familiar.

Many of the same homeowners were similarly ordered from their houses in 1987 when gasoline leaked into the sewer system from a rusted line between underground tanks at 4495 S. Highland Drive.Six years later, Salt Lake County hazardous-materials experts are again once pointing to Smith's Gas and Video as the potential source of the Saturday gas leak.

While 4500 South has seen its fair share of leak-related closures - the street has been blocked off at least three times since 1987 - the problem is valleywide in its scope.

The following leaks represent a handful of those investigated around the valley during the past decade:

- June 1989 - A massive gasoline leak forced the closure of 4500 South between Main Street and 300 West, as well as the I-15 on-ramp at 4500 South, for several hours as Murray hazardous-materials experts worked to stop gasoline from pouring into the freeway storm system. Up to 10 gallons of gas per minute leaked into the system for several hours, fire officials estimated.

- November 1987 - Businesses in the North Salt Lake Industrial Park were evacuated when more than 300,000 gallons of gasoline seeped from an 8-inch high-pressure line at the Chevron USA refinery, 400 W. 200 North. Cleanup continued through early December.

- October 1987 - Twenty homes bordering 4500 South from 1300 East to Highland Drive were evacuated when gasoline seeped into the sewer system from a leak at Smith's Gas and Video, 4495 S. Highland Drive.

- September 1987 - More than 230 gallons of gasoline leaked into a sewer-system collector at North Temple and eventually into the Jordan River after equipment failed while a tank truck filled up at 776 W. North Temple.

- 1987 - Gas fumes detected in four Moab homes led investigators to 50,000 gallons of gasoline, pooled underground over 10-12 acres. The spill stemmed from underground storage tanks and forced the evacuation of several homes.

- July 1985 - At least 6,000 gallons of gas spilled into storm drains beneath the Salt Lake International Airport from an underground storage tank, located under a car rental office south of the airport terminal.

- March 1984 - One business was closed and a home evacuated in Bountiful after crews found gas seeping into the city's sewer system near 425 N. 500 West.