More homes evacuated in Georgetown due to gas leak

More and more homes continue to be evacuated following a gas leak in Georgetown. The number of homes now nearly double from when the gas leak was first reported 3 weeks ago just off Williams Drive. Still, no end in sight.

There are now 67 businesses and 72 homes evacuated. 

“It’s a big mess they don’t really know what’s going on,” said Kim Humphrey who recently had to evacuate. Humphrey was getting ready for the day when he got some unexpected visitors. “I was getting ready for work, I was getting in the shower. They came knocking and said you have to get out."

Humphrey is one of the more recent homes who had to evacuate following a gas leak found 3 weeks ago in Georgetown. “First I told them no we’re not getting out and then they told me they’re shutting the power off in about an hour so after that my wife said let’s go ahead and evacuate,” said Humphrey.

As the days went on, he watched more and more of his neighbors have to evacuate.

“It’s like ok what’s going on,” said Humphrey.

Originally only 40 businesses and homes in the Williams Drive area had to evacuate. While crews fixed the leaks, they found a lot of natural gas made its way into the soil forcing more and more evacuations.

Now, 67 businesses and 72 homes are empty. With no end in sight the incident is taking a toll. “Some of them are getting tired of it, the pets are getting restless, the kids are getting restless,” said Humphrey.

A lot of the area still remains blocked off and if you want to get in your home you can it’s just going to be a little tricky. Humphrey said someone from Atmos must accompany you.

“They send someone down with one of the sniffers and they’ll go in a check to see if it’s good to come in and they walk around all the different rooms and take readings,” said Humphrey.

Atmos Energy said they are ventilating the soil.

FOX 7 spoke with UT geologist Toti Larson to figure out more on this process. “For ventilation what they’re trying to do is they’re essentially trying to push the gas out of the soil so you can have a soil zone with a lot of different permeability so it could just be that it’s difficult to get the air that they’re using to the zone where the natural gas is that can slow down the processes,” said Larson.

Larson said there are other ways to remove natural gas from the ground but can take time. For now, Humphrey said he will continue to check on his home until he’s able to live in it again.

Atmos Energy still has not given a date on when people can return.

Humphrey said he was told to expect another week.



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