Update: No end in sight for gas leak in Washington County

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX)- Update: Wildhorse Resource Department says a company based out of Houston called 'Wild Well Control' that specialize in gas leaks, have been trying to shut the leak off since 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

According to officials on the scene, first responders will cease work when the sun sets and will pick back up where they left off around 6:00 a.m. Thursday. Both Wildhorse Resource Development and law enforcement are unsure when the well will be turned off.

Wildhorse Development Resource representative Vedran Vuk says the well was recently put online, and had just begun producing. He says it is still unclear what caused the leak.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office has begun escorting landowners onto their properties for a brief period of time, so that they can grab clothes, medication and feed their livestock.

"We have some livestock confined and they need feeding" says Mike Harmel, one of the evacuees who lives less than a mile from the well. "Somebody needs to get in there and take care of them because right now they are pinned up and can't help themselves."

For the time being, the sheriff's office asks for patience.

"This is a major event," says Sheriff Otto Hanak. "Sometimes our citizens aren't quite aware what is going on behind the scenes, and behind these road blocks. This is serious and we don't need to have a catastrophe related to something that we can hopefully prevent."


Several agencies are still on the scene of a gas leak in Washington County.

According to WildHorse Resource Development, one of their wells experienced a "well control incident" around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday. College Station hazmat crews and Washington County officials responded Tuesday night to the leak on FM 390 near Deer Point Road. WildHorse said there was a limited release of natural gas, oil and produced fluid.

According to the Washington County Sheriff Otto Hanak, about 20-40 people were forced to evacuate their homes. In a Facebook post Wednesday morning, Washington County Emergency Management officials said those evacuated were being put up in a hotel paid for by the gas company.

Officials said there are plans to evacuate Camp For All, if needed. They said the camp is not in any immediate danger at the moment.

The post also said there is a potential for ignition, but the effects should be minimal. Officials said there would be a large fire ball at the site which will dissipate quickly if that happened.

Overnight, first responders used air monitors to inspect the area. As of 4 a.m. Wednesday, officials say several intersections between
Lake Somerville and Highway 290 were still closed because the gas leak could still ignite.

Road Closed as of 7:30 a.m.

1) FM 1948 @ Ganske Road
2) US 290 W @ FM 1948
3) FM 390 W @ Deer Point Road
4) Ganske Road @ Deer Point Road
5) Ganske Road @ Helm Road
6) FM 390 W @ FM 1948 North
7) FM 2679 @ FM 390

Residents and drivers are asked to avoid the area until the leak is under control. Additionally, Washington County authorities have contacted the FAA, requested and received a “no fly” zone within 2500 feet and within a 5 mile radius of the well site.

Sheriff Otto Hanak said the responding agencies were the Sheriff’s office, Burton Police Department, Washington County Office of Emergency Management, Washington County E.M.S., Washington County 911, Burton, Rocky Creek, Latium, and Berlin Volunteer Fire Departments, Washington County COP’s, College Station and Bryan Fire Departments, and the Texas Highway Patrol.