GEORGETOWN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - An ongoing gas leak has forced hundreds of homes and businesses to be evacuated in Georgetown. And now, Atmos Energy says they don’t know when people can return to these places because they’re not sure what caused the leak or when the residual gas in the soil, will go away.
"The whole thing doesn’t feel right it just doesn’t feel right.” Clint Mock has been living at Riverbend Drive for about seven years.
On February 20, Atmos Energy was first called out to Georgetown to repair natural leaks. Right now, the gas is cut off and the leak has been fixed but there are still major issues, like the hundreds of businesses and homes that were forced to evacuate.
This includes Clint mock’s family of seven. "I am frustrated and a little bit angry. Whose to say in a couple of weeks my whole family or the whole block would be gone.. The only reason they came to the door was because my daughter’s friend actually called in Atmos saying she could smell gas. And if it weren’t for that they probably wouldn’t be out here now.”
Mock says, what makes things worse, was his father-in-law’s intuition that something felt off, days before Atmos Energy let customers know there was a leak. “4 to 5 days prior to the incident I was having real bad headaches real bad fatigue and I just thought I wasn’t eating right or drinking enough water. Until they came knocking on the door saying there was a gas leak.”
On Friday, Atmos Energy spoke to the media to give an update on what’s been going on. The two main questions - when can people return to their homes and businesses and what exactly they’re seeing as they investigate weren’t answered.
Atmos Energy says the investigation is being taken seriously. "We're using vacuum units and we’re digging holes to speed up the ventilation of residual gas. You may have noticed one of these ventilation holes which are protected by orange safety fence as we are also performing additional surveys using our mobile leak detection units. As well as additional foot patrols.”
Atmos Energy also says there’s residual gas in the soil, and the evacuations they’ve issued is precautionary but Mock thinks things aren’t adding up. Atmos also says they’re working with the Railroad Commission of Texas, who is now investigating the leak and aftermath.
He says this evacuation has been the biggest inconvenience in his life.
Like many displaced families, he’s staying in a hotel for now and receives a $100 a day per diem to help offset costs of not being at home. He says so far he’s had to switch hotels at least three times because other people not dealing with leaks had prior reservations.
"They’re not quarantining the problem. The problem is expanding in my view. My house is the command center for them right now. So I was the first one to leave and I’ll be the last one to go back home looks like,” said Mock
If you smell gas, call Atmos Energy's emergency number immediately (866) 322-8667 or 911.
Clint Mock told FOX 7 that he was able to call the Atmos Energy customer service hotline number to request an increase in the per diem amount since he has a multi-family home.
That phone number is 1-888-286-6700.