PLEASANT VIEW — During a routine patrol of the area Friday morning, a Dominion Energy team detected a natural gas leak near Lomond View Elementary, prompting the evacuation of the school.
“We have crews that proactively travel our system and make sure gas lines are secure,” said Dana Peterson, spokesperson for Dominion Energy. “About 10:50 a.m. this morning, one of the crews detected gas near Lomond View Elementary ... outside, not in the building.”
The leak was detected on school grounds, according to Lane Findlay, spokesperson for Weber School District.
The school was notified of the leak at about 11:10 a.m., and evacuation began at 11:25 a.m., Findlay said.
Peterson said that 20 minutes elapsed between delay and notification because a response team had to be dispatched to the site. The company’s teams that discover such leaks, she said, are not the same as those that respond to them.
With the help of North View Fire Department, children were relocated to a nearby church at 900 W. Pleasant View Drive. That evacuation process was complete by 11:45 a.m., both Peterson and Findlay confirmed. The walking distance between the school and church is the reason why the process took 20 minutes, Findlay said.
Only one home near the school was evacuated, Peterson said.
Starting at 2:30 p.m. Friday, teachers were allowed to return to the school to collect personal items, Findlay said. Students will not be allowed to return to the school until Monday.
The district anticipates that classes will be held as usual on Monday, unless it receives new information from Dominion Energy, Findlay said.
“We certainly appreciate the coordination with Pleasant View Police and Dominion Energy and ... North View Fire,” Findlay said. “Whenever you’ve got to move 500-600 kids, it’s no small task.”
Weber district has a reunification team that assists school staff in reunifying students with their parents during emergencies, Findlay said. That process began at noon, and about half of students had been reunified with their parents by 1 p.m., Findlay said.
Just last year, the district ran a reunification exercise to practice emergency procedures, Findlay said. The school selected for the practice was Lomond View Elementary, so it was well prepared for the reunification process today, he said.
The cause of the leak has not yet been determined, Peterson said, though gas leaks can occur when steel gas lines corrode or are damaged by past construction.
If community members smell gas near their home, Peterson said, they should call 911 or Dominion Energy’s 24-hour line, 1-800-767-1689.