Businesses evacuate again due to leaking gas line in massive hole in East Bottoms

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City firefighters evacuated businesses Friday afternoon in the East Bottoms, for the second day in a row.

A gas line leaked Thursday night and Friday evening at the intersection of North Shelley and Guinotte avenues.

The damaged line sits inside a massive hole, that formed Thursday evening when part of Guinotte Avenue collapsed. A broken water main is also inside the hole.

The broken water main has left about three businesses in the East Bottoms without running water since last Saturday.

KC Water can’t fix the broken main until the gas pipe is repaired, but Spire crews said they haven’t been able to fix the gas pipe because water from the broken main continues flowing into the hole.

KC Water gave affected businesses bottled water, and supplied them with portable toilets on Friday.

Andrew Turner’s Auctions is about a block up from the breaks and the hole. He had to cancel his weekly auction Thursday, as more than 150 customers would have been without restrooms and water access.

“It’s hard,” Andrew Turner said. “I get it. There are so many miles of road in Kansas City. It’s just been a huge problem for so long, and now maybe since it’s reached this critical mass, it will get fixed right.”

Turner said canceling the auction cost him thousands of dollars in possible revenue. KC Water doesn’t know when the broken main will be repaired. The idea of a second canceled auction worries Turner.

“If it happens again, we’re in a bad place,” Turner said.

The cause of the hole and street collapse is under investigation by KC Water, Spire and several utility companies. According to KC Water, the hole may have been caused by over saturation and settling of the concrete from the rising Missouri River.

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