6 p.m. UPDATE:
Late Wednesday afternoon, Lapeer police said the situation in the downtown area had been contained and residents were being allowed back in their homes. Authorities say businesses will be allowed to re-open in most of downtown, except for a small area surrounded by a one block area of Saginaw and Nepessing Streets.
Investigators say they believe they may have a source for the leaking gasoline, a nearby gas station, but did not identify which station. Police say recent heavy rains may have been a factor in the situation, causing the gasoline to filtrate into the City’s sewer system. No injuries have been reported.
Wednesday 9:50 a.m.
A voluntary evacuation was issued for part of Lapeer early this morning after gas entered the sewer lines, causing several manhole covers to become dislodged. Lapeer Police Department officials said the entire downtown area is closed to traffic following the incident that started around 4:30 a.m. Wednedsday. Barricades are up at several downtown locations with the voluntary evacuation being from Nepessing and Saginaw through the 400 block of W. Nepessing, according to Lapeer County Central Dispatch. As of 9:30 a.m., emergency personnel said the gas pressure continued to increase in the downtown area and officials were working to evacuate homes and businesses. Police say it is still unclear where the gas came from.