Adair County Starts Restoration After Pipeline Explosion

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- "I'm probably one-third of a mile from it, and it literally rained rock," said Arnold Patterson, Adair County resident.

Arnold Patterson is one of many neighbors who woke up to what seemed to be a nightmare. A pipeline exploded last week, causing neighbors to flee for the safety of their own lives.

"The rocks were popping like popcorn. I started blowing my horn, trying to wake people up. I met people walking down the road in their pajamas," said Arnold Patterson, Adair County resident.

Some neighbors still are not able to get back to their homes, as the blast caused extreme damage. Officials are working around the clock to get the site cleared up and restored.

"The investigation is still in it's early phase. The pipe that has been up there and exposed, it's been shipped off. We're working with the federal investigators to make sure this is taken care of," said Shawn Tolle, Community Outreach Manager, Columbia Pipeline Group.

Elkhorn Road is open for drivers, but officials are urging cars not to stop within the construction site.

"Just respect the homeowners and their privacy. It's a construction site, it's a work area. There is a lot of moving with pieces of equipment. We're thankful that the community is working with us and taking their time going through there," said Shawn Tolle, Community Outreach Manager, Columbia Pipeline Group.

At this point in the restoration, officials say safety is a major concern.

""We just want to make sure that any trees that may have been damaged are taken down properly and properly disposed. We want to make sure the rock and everything is removed, to ensure there is no mud that is getting on the road. We're just trying to make sure that everything is safe at this point, then we'll start the process of putting things back together as PHSMA (Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Materials Administration) tells us to," said Shawn Tolle, Community Outreach Manager, Columbia Pipeline Group.

With recovery underway and no reported fatalities, Adair County residents continue to come together and make sure all needs are being met for homeowners and workers.

"There's a few people that are going to be shell shocked for a while, but when they leave here, I don't think you'll ever know it happened. Everybody is just lucky to survive,” said Arnold Patterson, Adair County resident.

Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Materials Administration is working together with Columbia Pipeline Group and federal investigators, to investigate all pipes and construction.

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