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Cedar Vale Evacuees Return Home

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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UPDATE
Cedar Vale residents weer allowed to return to their homes at about 11:00 Tuesday night.

Residents were told to air out their homes. stay away from manholes and run water when they returned. They were also reminded to call 911 and leave the area if they started to smell gasoline again.

Update: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A hundred and fifty Cedar Vale residents waiting for word to return home are getting some hope tonight. "Things are looking much better tonight, and we are hoping to get something figured out decision-wise within the next hour," Sheriff Perry Russell said Tuesday night at about 9:30 p.m.. The gasoline leak into the town's sewer line has been stopped, the sheriff said.

Officials have been working to clear lines of the residual gasoline and vapor before allowing evacuees to return to their homes. "Once the level of vapors are at acceptable levels, residents will be able to return home. With all of the flushing and leaning through those lines we have been getting those levels to drop. We are hoping to get something figured out within the next hour before deciding whether they can go home."

Sheriff Russell said residents who are displaced are hopeful of returning home tonight. "They're standing around the street waiting for word."

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Update: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One hundred and fifty Cedar Vale residents still waiting for word to return to their homes after being evacuated due to a gasoline leak into the sewer lines in the southeast Kansas town.

"We're still trying to isolate the area saturated by the leak," Chautauqua County Sheriff Perry Russell said. "We have the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and a contracting company they work with, monitoring the levels of gas in the sewer. We are also trying to determine where the underground plume is so we know where we need to trench to do the isolation."

Some of the evacuees spent Monday night with family and friends. About 40 people spent the night at the local Baptist church, and preparing for a second night in the church if the leak is not stopped. "Most are doing fine," Russell said. "The Red Cross came out yesterday and brought us cots and blankets for the folks that are displaced," he added.

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Update: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A gas leak continues to cause concerns for dozens of families forced to evacuate their southern Kansas homes.

About 150 people have not been allowed to return to their property one day after gasoline leaked into Cedar Vale's sewer system.

Perry Russell, Chautauqua county sheriff, said it is unclear when residents will be allowed back home.

Displaced residents spent the night at the town's baptist church.

Russell said hazardous levels have dropped since the evacuation orders Wednesday afternoon. But officials expect the hazardous levels to rise once crews begin flushing the system.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment plans to dig a trench
to catch some of the leaking gasoline. It's not known how many
leaks are in the sewer line.

Update: Monday, August 15, 2011

Gasoline leaking into the sewer lines of the southeast Kansas town of Cedar Vale continues, after officials first thought the source had been found and repaired.

"We are thinking we must have another break in the line or something," Chautauqua County Sheriff Perry Russell tells KAKE News. "The parts per million were coming down fairly well but all of a sudden, they just started testing higher again. They're higher than before now," Sheriff Russell said.

Most of the 150 people evacuated because of the leak are spending the night in the home of friends or family. About forty, the sheriff said, are spending the night in the town's baptist church.

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Update: Monday, August 15, 2011

The source of a gasoline leak into the sewer lines of the southeast Kansas town of Cedar Vale has been found and repaired. Now, 150 evacuated residents wait for word to move back into their homes.

Officials say they traced the gasoline leak to a leaky joint, and that they are now waiting for gas levels in the town's sewers to go down before residents can safely return to their homes. No word yet on when that could happen, but it could be later tonight or Tuesday morning.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

One hundred and fifty residents have been evacuated in the southeast Kansas town of Cedar Vale after reports of a gasoline leak.
That number represents about one third of the town's population.

The Kansas Department of Health & Environment began testing near a gas station around 10 a.m. Monday morning, and that led to the evacuation. A resident had smelled gas coming from a sewer line in the area and alerted authorities. That led to the testing, officials said.

Chautauqua County Sheriff Perry Russell said Cedar Vale High School is open for the evacuees. KDHE & city officials are working on a way to clean up the gasoline. At this point they do not know how long it is going to take to clean it up.

The areas evacuated are west of Kingman Road to Pine Street and Salebarn Road to Marsh Street.


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