TOWN EVACUATED: Gas Leak In Audubon

All across Iowa people are repairing damaged roofs and removing downed trees from storm damage Monday.

In Audubon, the clean-up had to wait while crews worked on an even bigger problem.

Audubon Fire Chief John Ballue was one of the first to arrive at the grain bins along Highway 71.

The grain dryer was blown over by 50-70 MPH winds, but repairs would have to wait. The smell of natural gas stretched for blocks.

“With a gas leak of that type and size, if it reaches an ignition source, there could be some major fire damage,” said Ballue.

Lynn Shoesmith lives just one hundred yards from the grain bins. He was working at home when he got a visit from the fire department.

“They knocked on my door and asked me to leave, basically,” said Shoesmith.

Everyone within four blocks of the bins was ordered to evacuate.

Knowing the potential dangers, Shoesmith didn’t waste any time.

“I just thought well, I’ll just leave. If this thing blows up, it’s right in my backyard,” Shoesmith told Channel 13 News.

People outside the four block evacuation area also received a visit from firefighters.

Helen Monthie spent the evening picking up storm debris. Hours earlier, she was indoors at the request of emergency officials.

“He said don’t touch your light switches or anything. Just go on in the house and you’ll be fine,” said Monthie.

People have since been able to return home and the scent of natural gas no longer lingers.

No one was injured as a result of the grain dryer falling.



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