Students and staff at Paul Pewitt CISD will be staying at home Jan. 25 after receiving notice of a possible gas leak. All campuses within the district will remain closed until further notice. CenterPoint Energy, supplier of the district’s natural gas source, is actively working to resolve the issue. During the closure, students and school personnel are required to stay away from all school buildings.
According to the natural gas company’s website, natural gas vapors are lighter than air and will generally rise and dissipate. They may gather in confined spaces and travel to a source of ignition. While natural gas is non-toxic, in high concentrations, it may cause dizziness or asphyxiation without warning. Under certain conditions, natural gas leaking into the atmosphere can result in flammable mixtures that can ignite. Keep ignition sources away.
In the event of an emergency, CenterPoint Energy immediately dispatches personnel to the site to help handle the emergency and provide information to public safety officials to aid in their response. CenterPoint Energy’s first priority is to restrict the flow of gas as needed to protect people, property and the environment. The website offers tips to consider in determining whether or not there is a natural gas leak. The use of the eyes, ears and nose are important tools in making such a determination.
Signs of a possible leak include: persistent bubbling in standing water, discolored or dead vegetation around the pipeline area, dense white cloud or fog, slight mist of ice or unexplained frozen ground near the pipeline. It is also important to listen for any unusual noise such as whistling, hissing or roaring sound. A gas leak can also have a distinctive, strong odor often compared to the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur.