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Some Austin Commons Residents Worry About Possible Earlier Gas Leaks
"It's amazing being able to take a shower after a week.” The wait is finally over for Brad Shilliday, an Austin Commons residents. "We got my heat back on yesterday," he says.
As of Thursday morning, only four out of 21 buildings were still without gas. But Shilliday and some other residents we spoke with have worried about gas leaks before.
"We've been smelling gas for three months and we told them as well," said Shilliday.
Dante Jones, a resident, told us something similar.
“We notified the front office, and my girl called the fire department, and they came out here and checked it and they said that they smelled gas, but still nothing was done so then two months later, this happens," said Jones.
Michelle DeCrane, Austin Fire Department spokesperson, confirmed to KEYE TV that the department’s been out to the complex twice in the last three months for gas odors: Sept. 4 and Oct. 5. But the report doesn’t say whether or not they found anything. DeCrane says if they did locate a leak, they’d have to notify the complex, who would take it from there.
The manager, who did not want cameras on property, said he never heard anything from the fire department, but what the residents smelled couldn’t have been from this leak because of the line’s location.
He says Texas Gas Service discovered the leak Dec. 1 during an inspection and later created at least two additional leaks by puncturing the line when using a leak detecting probe. He showed us a segment of the gas pipe with a puncture and crack down the side.
As for the cause of the initial leak, the manager believes the weight of the rock, plus contracting, expanding, and settling, caused it to puncture, much like a foundation crack.
Texas Gas Service previously told us they did not cause any punctures.
DeCrane also said the fire department doesn’t repair gas leaks but will call for an evacuation if they think there’s an immediate, dangerous threat. That did not happen in either of the calls at the Commons.
By Adam Bennett