Georgetown gas leak evacuation continues hurting local businesses

Dozens of businesses and families remain evacuated following a gas leak in Georgetown. 

The leak was reported nearly 2-weeks ago. Everyday these businesses remain closed, owners say it's a loss in potential profits.

As of right now, it's still not known when families and businesses will be allowed back into buildings. In the meantime, some nearby businesses not impacted by the evacuation are letting those who are affected use their buildings. 

“I've been a hair stylist for 42 years, I’ve been in business for 42 years and never had anything like this,” said Rachel Harris owner of Rachel & company.

When a leak of natural gas was reported 2 weeks ago off Williams Drive it forced Harris's Salon as well as 40 other businesses and residents to evacuate. Access to the area was limited. 

“We've been able to get into the business a couple times to get records to call clients,” said Harris.

While time has passed, the area still remains about the same with crews continuing their work. “It looks like we are going to be displaced again this week and maybe next week,” said Harris.

Harris said she was out of work for about three days until help came from down the road. “We're lucky somebody helped us out,” said Harris. 

A few blocks down is the New Images hair salon. The business opened their doors to Harris and her employees to work there during this evacuation. 

“I have 3 stylists that are sharing chairs with these girls,” said Harris.

While they are able to work, Harris said they are still missing out on profits as they rely a lot on walk-ins.  Overall she says she can't complain as there are other impacted businesses not as fortunate.

“I just feel sorry for the people that are out of work or can't work it's pretty tragic for some people,” said Harris.

Since the leak was first reported, Harris said Atmos Energy has been nothing but helpful during this time. 

“I can't say enough for what they've done as far as keeping us safe and working real hard to recoup some of the income that we've lost,” said Harris. 

One of the things Atmos Energy is doing is paying each impacted businesses $100 a day, something Harris says they are not letting go to waste. 

“We have bills to pay the lights go on the mortgage goes on we have supplies that we have to buy every day,” said Harris. While the crews continue to work, Harris is hopeful she will return to her own business soon.

Right now Atmos Energy reports 61 businesses and 26 families are currently evacuated. The railroad commission tells us they are monitoring the situation to see if Atmos Energy is in violation during this clean up.