US Highway 1 was blocked to traffic in both directions Friday afternoon in Aberdeen due to a gas leak.

Emergency units were dispatched just before 5:00 pm for reports of an odor of gas on US Highway 1 in the area of US Highway 15-501 South in Aberdeen

After confirming the odor of gas Aberdeen Fire Chief Phillip Richardson ordered that US Highway 1 be closed to traffic in both directions for the safety of the traveling public and called for Piedmont Gas Company to respond to the scene.

According to Chief Richardson the gas leak was coming from an area that had recently been graded at the old Aberdeen Florist location in preparation for its new owners, Poole Automotive which is moving its Southern Pines location to this newer and larger facility. The Fire Chief said that the workers were performing basic grading and were actually done for the day when they noticed the smell of gas and called authorities.

The Chief stated that there was a strong smell of gas near where the former greenhouses were located from when the florist had been there.

Vehicles traveling south of Aberdeen on US Highway 1 were being diverted onto US 15-501 South, with vehicles traveling north on US Highway 1 being diverted onto Roseland Road.

The gas was turned off by workers just before 6:45 pm allowing officials to reopen US Highway 1 to the normal flow of traffic a short time later.

Responding to this incident Friday were units from Aberdeen Fire & Rescue, NC State Highway Patrol, and the Aberdeen Police Department.

The cause of the gas leak was not known as of this report.