Alexandria, VA

(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) The Alexandria Police Department said a portion of King Street is closed due to a gas leak.

“The Alexandria Police Department is assisting the Fire Department with a road closure in the 2500 block of King Street due to a gas leak,” police said in a press release. “Expect police and fire activity in the area.”

The fire department said callers reported a gas line was hit by a contractor in someone’s yard. Homes near the scene were not evacuated.

The portion of the street that’s closed is near Taylor Run, just north of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

Image via Google Maps

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(Updated at 9:40 a.m.) George Washington Middle School has again been evacuated after a report of a gas odor in the school’s auditorium.

The incident happened around 9 a.m. today (Thursday). Firefighters responded to the school to investigate the odor, but initial reports suggest nothing hazardous was found. Students were expected to return to classrooms after about 20-30 minutes outside in the cold.

It’s at least the third such evacuation since November. After the last evacuation, on Jan. 30, the school’s principal told parents that a faulty heating unit appeared to be to blame.

“The smell was caused by a rooftop heating unit that was installed in the summer and still requires some adjustments,” Principal Jesse Mazur wrote. “We are working with the contractors who installed these new units to resolve some of the ongoing issues we have been experiencing with them since November.”

GW Middle has also been dealing with other maintenance problems, including water quality issues. As ALXnow reported last week, testing revealed relatively high levels of copper and lead from a number of water outlets at the school. On Tuesday the school told families that it aerating, flushing and re-testing the water outlets, which were being kept off line during the process.

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(Updated at 10 a.m.) A suspected gas leak has prompted the evacuation of George Washington Middle School.

The school at 1005 Mount Vernon Avenue, near the Braddock Road Metro station, was evacuated shortly after 9:30 a.m. amid cool (45 degree) but sunny weather, due to an odor of natural gas inside the building. The fire alarm was said to be sounding as students walked out of the building.

Numerous Alexandria firefighters are on scene, investigating reports of a gas odor in the auditorium area, possibly coming from a rooftop heating unit, following reported heating problems in the building on Wednesday. Washington Gas is also responding to the scene.

First responders discussing letting students and staff back into an unaffected part of the building during the gas leak investigation, according to scanner traffic.

Update at 10:30 a.m. — Students have been let back into the middle school, according to ACPS.

Photo via Google Maps

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Due to an emergency gas repair, Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES) announced on Twitter than a portion of the 1000 block of westbound King Street.

The block is between Patrick and Henry Streets, the north and southbound directions of Route 1 through Alexandria.

T&ES warned that drivers in Old Town near the closure should expect backups and seek alternate routes if possible.

Photo via Google Maps

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A building has been evacuated in Potomac Yard after construction crews struck a large gas line.

The National Industries for the Blind building was evacuated and E. Glebe Road closed between Main Line Blvd and Potomac Avenue due to concerns about the escaping natural gas. Alexandria police and firefighters are on the scene, awaiting crews from Washington Gas to shut off the line.

A slight natural gas smell was also reported in the nearby Potomac Yard Target store, according to scanner traffic.

Employees are being allowed back into the NIB building, but those who do not feel comfortable doing so are being allowed to take unscheduled leave, we’re told.

Vernon Miles contributed to this report

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