Schwab City Residents Evacuated After Gas Leak

No one knows what is causing natural gas to leak from a well in Schwab City. The well is used to dispose of saltwater waste and is not supposed to contain gas. People living in the area said the well is abandoned and corroded, but Polk County authorities said it is privately owned and operated.

County Judge John Thompson said, "A number of people have looked at the oil well and they've determined the procedure for correcting the blow out. They have fabricated some additional parts to help control the well and they are placing those on the well to try to capture the gas."

More than 20 families living within a mile and a half of Bird Road were evacuated because of the leak that started more than Sunday afternoon. The Houston area chapter of the American Red Cross helped those residents with food and shelter during their temporary displacement.

Fran Parent, Red Cross managing director, said, "We have about 22 displaced families - about 11 families are with their relatives and family members. We have 11 at the hotel. We've been working very closely with the state and county officials."

Highway 146 in Polk County had been closed to traffic, but the road is now reopened. The well was capped Monday afternoon, but the Livingston Fire Department and TX Dot are still monitoring the air in the area to make sure there is no environmental hazard for Schwab City residents.