Gas Leak Area Evacuees May Be Able to Return Home Wednesday
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Police Chief John Camper announced that the gas leak that caused an explosion which destroyed two homes and injured three people has been stopped and that repairs may last until midnight.
Although some evacuations have been lifted throughout the day, 75 homes are still in the current evacuated area as of Tuesday night.
That area is both sides of 7th Street from Elm Street and Walnut Avenue, and the area of Orchard Avenue to Walnut between 6th Street and 8th Street.
Around 5:30 officials were able to determine the location of the gas leak which is approximately seven feet underground in the area of 7th Street and Orchard Avenue.
They say the gas line that was leaking is a transmission line to Colorado Mesa University and does not feed into residential homes, but since gas has leaked into sewer lines the area is still under evacuation.
It was that leak that eventually caused an explosion that completely destroyed two homes.
"I looked out the window and saw some flames, then I went downstairs and all the windows were blown out and I felt heat and a lot of pressure coming from the back of the house so I just picked up my dog and ran out of the house ... I don't think it's sunk in yet. I was talking to a friend and I was like, 'yea let me run back to my house,' and it's like I don't really have a house," said Alex Zwinck, a CMU student who lived in the house that burnt down after catching fire from the original explosion next door.
Both homes were a complete loss and left to remain burning for a few hours to burn off any escaping gas that continues to leak.
Officials say anyone in the evacuation area should meet at the
7th Day Adventist Church on 730 Mesa Ave Wednesday at 8:00 a.m., they will be paired up with an Xcel official who will inspect their house for safety before letting them move back in.