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‘All clear for everyone:’ Shelter-in-place, evacuation orders lifted in Van Zandt, Henderson counties

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 9:15 PM CST
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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The “shelter in place” order that was issued by the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office after a large gas leak occurred in the Purtis Creek area of the county has ended.

“All clear for everyone,” said Van Zandt County Sheriff Steve Hendrix.

According to a post on the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, the shelter in place order had been scheduled to end at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Residents of Eustace in Henderson County are also able to return to their homes now. Immediately after the gas leak occurred, the entire town of Eustace was evacuated, according to a post on the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

“Update: According to the gas company, it is now safe to return to your homes if you would like,” a post on the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page stated Friday night. “The shelters will remain open until tomorrow morning.”

Friday night, Hendrix advised residents in the area where the leak occurred to shelter in place in their homes or go to a shelter location. In Henderson County, people could shelter at the Senior Citizens Building, Living for the Brand Cowboy Church in Athens, Caney Creek Baptist Church in Log Cabin, and First Methodist Church in Mabank.

Residents who sheltered in place were instructed to keep all windows and doors closed and turn off air conditioning units.

Hendrix said that it is difficult to pinpoint an exact radius of the entire affected area but said anyone in the Precinct 2 area of Van Zandt County and south of Canton should shelter in place.

Hendrix said the gas leak was discovered around 8:15 p.m. in the southwest portion of the county and is affecting Henderson County as well.

Hendrix said they would barricade some roads to prevent the public from entering the area.

Early Saturday morning, authorities said the leak had been shut off.

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