A section of Meeting Street was closed for several hours today because of a gas leak, snarling traffic during the evening rush hour.

The leak was reported about 3:20 p.m., according to Charleston police. Meeting Street was closed to traffic between Woolfe and Columbus streets while police, firefighters, two Hazmat trucks and an S.C. Electric & Gas crew responded.

As darkness fell, the streets near the Piggly Wiggly flashed blue and red from the emergency lights, prompting curious looks from shoppers in the store’s parking lot. The sound of a jackhammer cut the air as workers drilled through the concrete near Spring Street.

The street reopened to traffic about 6:30 p.m, and traffic quickly returned to normal.

A short section of the right lane at Meeting and Spring streets remained closed tonight.

An SCE&G spokeswoman said a contractor working in the area punctured a 1¼ inch gas service line, springing a leak.

An apartment complex is under construction at that intersection. A crew working by spotlights was planting Palmetto trees near the intersection tonight.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.