Killeen: Gas leak leads to some confusion in local neighborhood

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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A natural gas leak led to evacuations and some confusion Tuesday night in a Killeen residential neighborhood.

(Photo by Tianna Jenkins)

Authorities evacuated homes Tuesday night in the area of John David Drive and Foster Lane.

By around 9:45 p.m., residents were allowed to return home.

Pam Garza was one of the dozens of people who got a knock on her door about the incident.

“I rarely know anybody in town so I basically drove up the road and hang out at Sonic for…an hour and a half.”

Unsure if it was safe to go home, she took a risk and headed back.

“I came back I noticed some people going back to their homes. I wanted to make sure it was safe.”

Garza said she would have appreciated more information about the leak.

"It would have been nice to get…a message alert. We have Amber Alerts so that would be nice to get it on my phone and get a ‘Hey there's a gas leak in your area’ you know, and you're asked to evacuate for such-and-such time.”

Authorities at the scene Tuesday evening declined to provide details about the leak and the evacuations and directed questions to Atmos, which did not return calls.

Local authorities would only say that a gas company was working in the area when natural gas level detectors sounded a warning.

Killeen city officials say they followed protocol.

They say each situation is different and requires different procedures.

For neighborhood evacuations, first responders go door-to-door to make notification.

In larger or more dangerous situations, the city will send out information to local media and post on its websites and social media platforms.