gas meter tornado debris Tornado Cleanup Crews Warned To Look Out For Gas Lines

(credit: Atmos Energy)

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A warning for residents, volunteers and crews cleaning up damage from last Tuesday’s tornadoes — watch for natural gas lines.

A number of dangerous natural gas situations were discovered during surveys of tornado damage in Lancaster.

In a press release statement Lancaster Fire Chief Thomas Griffith said, “We identified several homes where piles of plywood, roofing materials and debris were stacked too close to natural gas meters.”

Gas service had already been shut off at the homes in question and Atmos crews safely removed the debris. But Atmos officials stressed that, “We do need the volunteers to be extra careful when piling up the debris.”

Tornado cleanup continues in counties across North Texas.

According to the National Weather Service, at least 16 tornadoes touched down in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex alone.

Let’s put that in perspective. The farthest west metroplex tornado touched down in Joshua, about 19 miles southwest of Fort Worth. The farthest east metroplex tornado touched in a rural area of Rockwall County, near Royse City.

The distance from Joshua to Royse City is about 80 miles. So, if you dispersed 16 tornadoes evenly across that distance there would have been tornadoes every five miles.

Officials with Atmos confirmed that natural gas service has been shut off at more than 100 North Texas homes damaged during last week’s storms.

All residents are now being asked to be alert for natural gas leaks.

Atmos Energy Media Director Jennifer Ryan said, “If you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately and do not operate anything that might cause a spark.”

For any type of gas emergency call 911 or Atmos Energy’s Emergency Hotline at (866) 322-8667.

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