A work crew attempting to fix a water leak in the Ingles shopping center ruptured a gas main Monday afternoon, leading to the evacuation of nearby stores.
According to Dawson County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Tim Satterfield, the stores will remain evacuated for the near future.
"We've got a representative of Atlanta Gas and Light on scene but the construction crew is coming from Cumming, so the stores are going to be evacuated for a while," Satterfield said Monday afternoon. "We're not going to let anyone back in until we're sure this is taken care of."
Satterfield said the line was at least two inches in diameter.
"It's a pretty big line," Satterfield said. "The crew had all of the lines marked, but when they've lain in the ground that long, sometimes the marks are off."
Satterfield said Monday that it didn't look as though the crew had done anything wrong.
"They were inside where they were supposed to be," he said. "Sometimes things like this just happen, it's not that uncommon."
Satterfield said the wind was helping to keep potential contamination away from the populace.
"[The gas] is really funneling straight up, so it shouldn't be a problem," he said. "But I expect we'll be out here for a while."
Traffic on Hwy. 53 West and Ga. 400 have not been affected.