More than 120 homes and businesses remain evacuated 1 month after Williams Drive gas leak

More than 120 homes and businesses remain evacuated one month after the Atmos Energy gas leak.

More than 120 homes and businesses remain evacuated one month after the Atmos Energy gas leak.

Sixty-seven homes and 65 businesses remain evacuated as of March 20 due to a gas leak on Williams Drive.

On Feb. 20, Atmos Energy arrived at 507 River Bend, Georgetown, to repair an underground gas leak. That leak has since been fixed, but homes and businesses along Williams Drive remain evacuated due to unique soil conditions in the area that are causing residual gas—natural gas that accumulates underground—to ventilate slowly, Atmos Energy Communications Manager Celina Cardenas Fleites said.

“The safety of the public, our employees and our system is our highest priority,” Cardenas Fleites said. “We continually monitor conditions in the area and, out of an abundance of caution, evacuations will remain in place until we are confident it is safe to reoccupy the structures.”

The removal process includes venting, vacuuming, evacuation and suction, according to a March 20 city of Georgetown news release. Atmos Energy has also installed a series of vent wells and retained geologists to assist in these efforts, the release said. Dense clay, moisture and the make‐up of the soil has inhibited the evaporation of the gas, it said.

The city has not declared a disaster as of March 20, which would give local officials the ability to exercise extraordinary powers, including providing liability protection to government agencies and emergency workers or to formally request general assistance from the state and federal governments.

Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross said the reason for not making the declaration was the city does not have oversight of pipeline safety. The responsibility rests with the Texas Railroad Commission, and declaring a disaster would not provide new or different resources available that are not already being provided, he said.

“To further ensure a safe and expedient resolution, I have formally requested the Texas Department of Emergency Management to begin an assessment of this situation,” Ross said in the release. “Should the situation evolve, the City stands prepared to declare a disaster and call on additional resources from our fellow governmental agencies.”

Atmos Energy has provided hotel accommodations and food stipends to affected residents. The company has also worked to fully compensate affected businesses, paying claims and connecting businesses with resources to continue their operations, the release said.

Cardenas Fleites said Atmos will provide an update and timeframe for lifting the evacuations when possible.

More than 120 homes and businesses around Williams Drive have been affected by the Atmos Energy gas leak.[/caption]


Brandon Cardwell, the district's executive director of facilities and construction, addressed the PfISD board during an Oct. 21 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bohls Middle School within PfISD slated for late December completion

Brandon Cardwell, the district's executive director of facilities and construction, said during the district's Oct. 21 board meeting that much work is still needed on the campus, but he is encouraged by the pace at which crews are operating.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Freedom Realty Texas opened location on Williams Drive in Georgetown. (Brittany Andes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Real Estate office now open on Williams Drive in Georgetown

Freedom Realty Texas is a full-service residential and commercial real estate agency.

Georgetown began their sidewalk improvement plan in May and hopes to make the Square more accessible and safe. (Brittany Andes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sidewalk improvements on the Georgetown Square continue with lane closure

Construction will continue on the Georgetown Square as improvements are being made to the sidewalks in downtown Georgetown that will create better accessibility and improve safety for pedestrians, according to city officials.

Rodeo stock image
Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo ready to open gates Oct. 21 after coronavirus delay

After the inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo was postponed in 2020, county and fair officials said they are excited to kick off the agricultural celebration.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

A new King Liquor location opened in September in Georgetown. (Brittany Andes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Liquor store opens second location in Georgetown

Enjoy a selection of spirits at this Georgetown liquor store.

Wag Heaven's mural depicts Nemo, a German Shepherd who served in the U.S Air Force during Vietnam and saved his handlers life on the field of battle. (Brittany Andes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag Heaven to host dog wash event benefiting veterans in Georgetown this weekend, Oct. 23

Volunteers will clean visitors' furry friends at Wag Heaven’s charity dog washing event for the Georgetown Rotary Club’s annual Field of Honor event

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Black Rock Coffee Bar's menu features Americanos, drip coffees, cold brews, specialty lattes, teas and smoothies. (Courtesy Black Rock Coffee Bar)
4 businesses coming to Cedar Park, Leander; Barton Springs Pool reopens and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Williamson County Commissioners hope to vote on a new county precinct map before the end of November. The redistricting process comes after the county saw an explosion of population growth from 2010-20, according to census numbers. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Officials look to make new Williamson County precinct map available to public in early November

Williamson County will redraw its commissioner precinct map after the county saw a 44% growth in population over the past decade.