Local News

Gas Leak Shuts Down Roads; Kenly Residents Evacuated

Posted January 5, 2008 10:36 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2008 2:15 p.m. EST

— Authorities closed several roads and asked residents to evacuate their houses in Kenly after a major gasoline leak at Highway 301 and 7th Street Saturday night.

No injuries were reported, but as many as 50 evacuees were sent to North Johnston Middle School in Micro. Other residents were urged to stay in their houses unless asked to leave by authorities.

Hazmat crews and emergency officials from Kenly, Micro, Selma, Johnston, Benson and Wilson's Mills were dispatched after gas leaked at about 9:30 p.m. from a valve at a 4,000 gallon tanker storage building.

The gas spilled into a canal behind Etheridge Oil Company at 502 N. Gardner Ave. Authorities used styrofoam buoys to contain the gas about three quarters of a mile down the canal.

“It is scary because I'm a college student and I'm home on break and you never expect something like this to happen in such a small town,” evacuee Courtney Hamilton said.

“They're very understanding. No one wants to be inconvenienced on a night like tonight,” said Pat Lacarter, Johnston County Emergency Management.

Hamilton said she was allowed back inside her home at 2:15 a.m. Sunday.

Environmental workers continued cleaning up the spill Sunday. It was unknown exactly how much gas leaked out.