There is currently a one-mile evacuation order in effect near Crestview High School.

Columbiana police and fire dispatch has confirmed with 21 News that a one-mile evacuation order is currently in effect due to an uncontrolled natural gas well.

Dispatchers confirmed that the incident originated at the Tarka Pad on Fairfield School Road. The road is currently closed to traffic and Hilcorp Energy is assessing the situation.

According to a press release from Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, a third-party contractor struck a well head at around 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Emergency shutdown devices for the remaining 12 wells on the pad were activated and all remaining wells and pipelines are shut in.

At this point, it's unknown how long the evacuation order will be in effect, but Columbiana County EMA Director, Peggy Clark tells 21 News that the well control company is expected to be on site Tuesday evening.

According to a representative from Hilcorp Energy, no injuries have been reported so far and Hilcorp is working with local emergency crews to establish a perimeter while crews respond. 

Additionally Ohio EPA is on scene conducting air monitoring and providing incident support until the situation is under control. ODNR is working with authorities as well to monitor the situation.

The Ohio EPA also says that no ground-level contaminants have been detected at this time, and they continue to monitor ground level for methane and volatile organic compounds. So far, they say gas is ejecting straight up into the atmosphere where it is dispersed. 

In the meantime, folks are asked to avoid the area and a claims hotline has been established for those affected by the incident. The number for the hotline is 877-872-1288.

Governor DeWine is advising residents to stay in their homes with all doors and windows closed unless ordered to evacuate and close the fresh air intake of their air conditioning systems if possible.

Anyone experiencing unusual shortness of breath, dizziness or clumsiness that they believe to be related to this incident should contact their local health care provider.

Crestview High School and Middle School are closed due to the evacuation. However, according to Superintendent Dan Hill, Crestview Elementary School is open to anyone needing to reach the district (330) 482-5370.

Currently, the Columbiana Fire Department, East Palestine Fire Department and Red Cross are all at the evacuation site. 21 News crews at the scene say there are currently six evacuees at the site, but Governor DeWine says over 450 people have been safely evacuated from the area.

The Columbiana County Sheriff posted the following information on Facebook:

There has been a gas line leak. We are evacuating a 1 mile radius from Fairfield School Road just North of State Route 517. The evacuation is from North of Woodvale Lane to the South and Just North of Crestview Road. Lower Elkton Road to the West at State Route 558 and West of Crestview High School. The Crestview Elementary School is available for shelter. Red Cross has been notified. Thank You- Sheriff Brian McLaughlin


21 News spoke with Lisa Arter, a resident of the evacuation zone who evacuated with her husband and dog. Arter told us about how she was alerted of the situation at work and how she responded to it in the video above.

"I was driving my husband's truck, so I had to run home. We had two dogs in the house and my husband met me there. We got our camper, we got the dogs, we got clothes for everybody living in the house and we are temporarily parked in my work parking lot where we can have water and electricity until we figure out what our next move's going to be," Arter said. 

Additionally, Diane Less of Angels for Animals tells 21 News that any pet owners who were evacuated from their homes may bring them to Angels for Animals for shelter. 

If you need to bring your pets, you're asked to call Angels for Animals at 330-549-1111.




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