Work Continues On Spewing Gas Well - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/3/07-Smith County

Work Continues On Spewing Gas Well

Emergency crews are still on scene Wednesday afternoon, working to cap off that spewing gas well.  The well located near FM 3226 and FM 850, near Chapel Hill, had a "blow-off" Tuesday afternoon and has since been spewing natural gas into the area.

A representative from Sampson, the company who owns the well and he said crews were able to get in there and shut off one of the valves, reducing the amount of gas spewing out. It is a big step for crews who have been waiting for mother nature all day. 

It's a leak that can only be described as massive and dangerous--pure, un-odorized natural gas spewing out of an East Texas gas well.

"Never in my 30 years, have I seen anything like that," says nearby resident Arlene Miller.

It's a geyser practically gushing like Ole Faithful itself.

"It sounded like a rushing sound and I couldn't imagine...and then I walked down into the pasture and it looked like a gusher, only it was all white," Arlene adds.

She's one of the folks who had to evacuate. But now, she's worried about the animals she had to leave behind.

"Yeah I'm worried about them, you'd be worried too, they're my children," she says.

But she can't get to them. That's because emergency crews are redirecting traffic and so far residents aren't allowed to go inside the perimeter.

"We've got a motel now, my wife's packing everything up from one, we're going to move to the other one," says evacuated resident Glen Elliott.

Many are just waiting around and that's exactly what crews had to do for some too.

"We're waiting on mother nature to cooperate by giving us a little breeze," says Fire Marshal Jim Seaton

He says the wind plays a huge factor in getting the well capped off.

"If the wind is not above 6 miles per hour, they're probably not going to do anything...there's no way to cap it off, you're not going to safely be able to put anybody up there to do that."

Luckily, winds did pick up and crews were able to turn off one of the valves, reducing the amount of gas spewing out of the well.

Tomorrow morning, the work will continue and officials say hopefully, by lunchtime, it will be under control.

Tracy Watler, Reporting

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