GEORGETOWN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - For nearly 2 months a neighborhood once completely block off in Georgetown is now back open to families. More evacuations continue to be lifted in the Williams Drive area following a gas leak found back in February.
Seven homes and seven businesses remain evacuated and they are mostly around a field near Williams Drive. They are focusing efforts in that area to try and get out the residual gas trapped in the soil. We are now eight weeks into these evacuations and those able to return area dealing with problems other then the gas.
A once blocked off street, now open once again. “It’s definitely a lot less stressful being back home. I have of course my workshop where I can work on my computers and my garage to work on my cars,” said Jonathan Kendrick who has been evacuated for nearly 2 months.
Kendrick is finally able to live in his home after a natural gas leak near Williams Dr forced him and dozens of others out of their homes. “There was no real indication on when we could go home it was impossible for them to be able to tell,” said Kendrick.
Kendrick lives on Oak Lane, one of the first areas that had to be evacuated, Atmos Energy even blocked off the neighborhood to the public and put a command center at a nearby intersection.
With those barricades now gone and people able to move back in Kendrick said it hasn’t been smooth sailings for everyone. “Moldy refrigerators. Fortunately my wife was really proactive about that and got everything out and got the fridge all cleaned up before they shut the power off. I guess we kind of saw it coming but I guess a lot of people didn’t get the same warning,” said Kendrick.
Kendrick said Atmos Energy has offered to cover fridge cleaning costs to those in the area.
Aside from moldy food, some people are returning to find their homes aren’t as clean as when they first left them to evacuate. “When they were first coming in and out it was cold and wet so they tracked some mud in. They’re going to pay to clean up the hardwood floors,” said Kim Humphrey who was evacuated for about a month.
Humphrey said Atmos offered to reimburse him for floor cleaning costs now that he’s back home. “It’s nice; I can sleep in my own bed, I can eat my own food, watch my own television, do whatever I want,” said Kendrick. With more evacuations being lifted Both Humphrey and Kendrick are hopeful this gas disaster is nearing its end.
Those in the area are also hoping Atmos pays to fix yards once this ordeal is over because of all the digging they’ve done. Atmos Energy has moved their command center and are now moving into a near by office space. During a community meeting they said this is so they can continue to assist people after the evacuations are lifted.