Longview residents report smell of natural gas in area

What's That Smell?

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Residents in East Longview made several reports of the strong smell of natural gas Tuesday morning. The fire department was notified, but they say no leaks were found.

KLTV spoke with an area resident and found the odor persisted long after the fire department left the scene.

Mike Kelly lives in Longview not too far from East Highway 80 and Loop 281. He was out in his shop when he smelled the odor of gas.

“I don’t have any gas out there, but it was seeping into the building so I walked outside and the aroma was really bad. So I came in and informed my wife that we had a gas leak in the neighborhood, or it smells like a gas leak, and came out in the driveway and called CenterPoint,” Kelly said.

Kelly notified his neighbors.

“So we’ve got the neighborhood warned, but we didn’t know where it was coming from,” Kelly said.

The gas company arrived and investigated, talking with residents, taking readings and checking gas meters. They found no leaks or gas in the air though the smell remained strong.

“CenterPoint felt like there was a bottle of the odorant that they use, had been dumped at a scrap yard, and that container had been busted open,” Kelly said.

About a mile away at Jennings Scrap and Salvage on Highway 80, the owner didn’t want to talk on camera, but told me a pipe had been cut open that had once contained gas odorant.

Kelly is familiar with the odorant because a friend of his worked with it.

“This is all he did. He transported this odorant,” Kelly said.

And he said at times his buddy smelled like a gas leak because the odorant was so powerful.

According to CenterPoint Energy’s website the odorant is called Mercaptan, and is added since natural gas is odorless. It’s smell is a warning.

“That’s what it’s supposed to do. It’s supposed to be potent,” Kelly said.

At Jennings they said they were pouring bleach on the pipe with the embedded odor to help eliminate it, as suggested by the gas company.

Just before 3 pm there was another call about a gas odor in the same vicinity. The fire department investigated and found it was still coming from the salvage yard. An odor was added to natural gas after the New London school gas explosion killed 300 people in 1937.

WebXtra: Smell of gas in Longview

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