Natural gas leak in Orange County; some residents evacuated

Natural gas leak in Orange County; some residents evacuated

The Orange County Sheriff's Office reports emergency responders evacuated some local residents after a business alerted them of a natural gas leak on Wednesday, June 25, at about 8:45 a.m.

OCSO received the call from an oil well company representative in reference to a natural gas leak at a well site at the end of Gulf Road off FM 408 in the Orangefield area of Orange County. The Bridge City Volunteer Fire Department, along with Sheriff’s Deputies, responded to the area of Gulf Road and Scales Lane. Officials took measurements of the gas in the air with Low Explosive Limit (LEL) detectors and there was not a measurable amount of gas in the area where homes were located at that time. 

As the leak continued for several hours, the gas was not dissipating rapidly due to the weather conditions. The oil well company could not control the leak, and it was necessary for a special response team from Houston to be contacted. Once the team arrived, it was recommended that homes in the vicinity of the well site be evacuated and for residents to remain out of their homes throughout the night. The homes on Gulf Road and Scales Lane are the only homes affected at this time.  Company officials believed the leak would not be under control until sometime on Thursday, June 26. The Orange County Emergency Management, Bridge City Fire Department, and Orange County Sheriff’s Office have personnel on scene while the response team repairs the leak. It does not appear at this time that there will be any further evacuations beyond Gulf Road and Scales Lane and FM 408 remains open.  Officials will be closely monitoring the levels of gas in the air, the weather, and wind conditions, in order to take necessary action for the safety of those working on the leak and those residing in areas beyond the evacuated areas.

OCSO Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson says the evacuees should be allowed to return to their homes on June 26 as long as everything goes well.

"There were about 16 homes or so affected," Hodgkinson reports.

More updates will be made available when or if there are any changes to current conditions.