Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jumpin' Jack Flash

At this moment, my family and I are keeping an ear to the scanner, waiting to hear if we'll have to evacuate.
It's a gas! Gas! Gas!
The rain-drenched air outside carries the strong odor of natural gas and there's a loud roar coming from an open valve a half-mile to the north, not far from where a big gas-transmission line crosses our road. Mrs. KintlaLake and our younger spawn drove through the area an hour ago and reported that the fumes made their eyes burn. According to them, the sound was absolutely deafening.

All this because there's a broken main about four miles northeast.

Judging by the chatter on the scanner, there's a difference of opinion between the gas company's fixit people and the state EPA's hazmat people. The former says there's no need for residents to bug out, while the latter advises that the escaping gas, which is being held down by the heavy rain, could be a health hazard.

The police listened to both sides, eventually deciding to clear only the public library and a couple of school buildings and leave it at that.
But it's alright now, in fact, it's a gas!
The possibility of evacuating isn't something that happens around here every day, at least not since we've made our home in this house. Anyway, we already knew how close we live to the transmission line and valve, which probably is more than can be said of the blissfully ignorant suburban hamsters that surround us.