Businesses taking big hit as gas leak evacuation continues

The city known for using renewable energy continues to be plagued by a natural gas leak. It’s been over 3 weeks since the leaks were reported off Williams Drive in Georgetown.

Businesses forced to evacuate say they are taking a toll and some don’t even use natural gas.

More then 60 businesses and more then 70 homes evacuated. Crews continue to work on getting the natural gas which leaked into the ground and there’s still no word from Atmos Energy on when people and businesses can return.

On a normal day, the Leaps and Bounds Learning Center would be open but these past few weeks have been anything but normal. An area which would be filled with kids now filled with Atmos Energy crews. “I’m just hoping that things turn around soon,” said Kristin Hood the owner of the learning center. 

When the evacuations for gas leaks began off Williams Drive in Georgetown, Hood’s daycare center was originally left alone. “I was like it will be ok and then, not even joking, 5 minutes later Atmos came and knocked on my door to evacuate,” said Hood.

For 2 weeks she’s had to close up shop. “It’s been hard. I’ve felt discouraged I’ve been sad because we just opened,” said Hood. The daycare recently opened in January, now they join the 67 businesses and 72 homes who have to evacuate with no word on when they can return. “We’re not even Atmos customers but everyone else is being impacted the same way to unfortunately,” said Hood.

As the days pass, Hood worries some of the kids won’t return when they finally do get to reopen whenever that may be. “I’ve had a couple of parents that have had to do drop ins at other childcare centers,” said Hood.

She’s been desperately trying to find a location to temporarily set up.

“Some churches said no and other churches said they would have to get back to me and I never heard back from them,” said Hood. After days of searching, she finally found a place which will let her move in next week. Other evacuated businesses aren’t as lucky. “I know there are a lot of companies out there that can’t go anywhere and It stinks it really does,” said Hood.

With all the digging in the area she’s also worried about any potential damage. “Before we had bought the building we had the foundation checked and so we know it’s solid so now I’m going to make sure that get it checked again when we are aloud back,” said Hood.

For now, Hood plans to stop by every now and then to check on things until her area finally returns to normal. FOX 7 continues to constantly reach out to Atmos, they continue to say that they are monitoring the area and will lift the evacuation when they feel it’s safe.

Still no word on a date or even a timeframe for when that is.



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