UPDATE: More residents evacuated after gas well leak

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Voluntary evacuation notifications have just gone out to 100 more households in South Caddo Parish, after ongoing testing in the groundwater by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality found elevated levels of natural gas in 35 out of 45 private wells.

Residents in the affected area have been warned that, "though unlikely, the water from your well may have the potential of being  flammable. Do not drink or use any well water and do not give well water to your pets.

Streets included in this expanded evacuation now include: Pueblo, Lariat, Goldsberry, Goldsberry Circle, Harris Lane, and Norris Ferry South of Southern Trace Parkway.

Streets already closed are: Norris Ferry Extension, Debroeck, Willow  Ridge, and Cypress Gardens.

All those without a place to relocate have been advised to "report immediately" to the Hilton-Shreveport Convention Center, located downtown at 104 Sourh Market Street, where representatives are set up to provide  further information.

More than 50 residents have already been evacuated throughout the day to other hotels in Shreveport.

In addition, the Shreveport Fire Department has activated an Information Hotline at 675-2255.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has been testing wells in the area since early Monday morning, after workers at an Exco drill site noted elevated levels of natural gas in the air and irregular pressure readings while drilling one on three wells on the "super-pad" site located in the 11000 block of Norris Ferry Road.

Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said two of the wells were filled with cement, and air contamination dissipated by early afternoon.

Now the focus is on determining how far the flammable gas has gotten in the Wilcox Aquifer, which serves as the main water supply for Parish residents outside the city limits of Shreveport.

Exco, the company that owns the well, said it may take a few days to resolve the problem. This could require residents to stay out of the homes longer than initially expected.

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