EXPLOSION UPDATE: Evacuation In Place For Parts of Grand Junction
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- A chaotic, scary, and dangerous situation takes place for hundreds of Grand Junction homeowners Tuesday afternoon.
A home explodes around 1 p.m. Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of a multi-block area which included schools and office buildings.
As of Tuesday evening, the evacuation area was within both sides of 7th Street from Elm Street to Walnut Avenue and from Orchard Avenue to Walnut between 6th Street and 8th Street.
Officials say a meeting is planned for 8 a.m. Wednesday, at the Seventh Day Adventist Church for anyone who is still evacuated. At that time, crews from Xcel Energy will team up with residents to go into individual homes and check for safety issues related to the gas leak and to re-light any pilot lights that went out.
Officials continue to investigate the exact cause of the explosion. Although, a private company contracted by the city was boring into the ground to upgrade the traffic signal at 7th Street and Walnut and at some point a gas line was struck, followed by the gas leak and explosion.
Xcel Energy has stopped the gas from leaking further.
The American Red Cross is sheltering more than a dozen evacuated residents inside the Grand Junction High School gym.
The gas is now back on at Colorado Mesa University.
Grand Junction High School will be open as usual Wednesday with TCAP testing beginning at 7:25 a.m. for the 9th and 10th grade.
Tope Elementary will remain closed Wednesday.