Friday incidents keep emergency crews busy

PARKERSBURG – A gas leak, highway accident and power outages kept area first responders busy Friday.

The Parkersburg Fire Department closed traffic on Depot Street Friday afternoon while a natural gas leak was repaired between 1 and 2 p.m.

Dominion Hope spokesman Chuck Penn said the cause of the leak remained under investigation. Three customers were affected and service was being restored Friday afternoon.

There was no danger to local residents, but emergency units were asked to halt traffic on Depot Street while the repair work was being done, Penn said.

Northbound lanes of Interstate 77 in Wood County were closed around 12:30 p.m. Friday when a truck caught fire after a two-vehicle accident on the Worthington Creek Bridge.

According to the Wood County 911 Center, no injuries were reported but the roadway was closed in order to remove the damaged vehicles, extinguish the fire and transfer the cargo to another truck.

Dispatchers said the Wood County Sheriff’s Department responded to the call along with the Waverly and Eastwood volunteer fire departments. Additional information was unavailable from the sheriff’s office.

In Belpre, contractors working for Appalachian Power Co. Friday caused two lines to contact and disrupt power for about an hour in and around Belpre, officials said.

About 2,900 customers were without electricity after the incident, said Vikki Michalski, spokesman for the power company. Michalski said the incident occurred around 11:40 a.m. and power was restored to most customers by 12:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officers cracked down on people seeking money from motorists and pedestrians Friday evening in Parkersburg. The panhandlers were allegedly making people feel “uneasy,” officials said.

The Parkersburg Police Department arrested three homeless individuals on trespassing charges in the area of Sixth and Ann streets, near the train trestle, Friday. A dispatcher with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office said the panhandlers were arrested on trespassing charges.

Lisa Nicholas was arrested on trespassing charges two separate times Friday, officials said.

Nicholas, Ellen Allman and Roger Tucker were arrested, processed and confined in the Wood County Holding Center around 6:30 p.m. Friday.

All three were arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court and released on bond, officials said.