PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — The number of families leaving Porter Ranch following a gas leak — that residents say could be making them sick — continues to rise.
Residents have complained about the air quality for about a month.
KCAL9’s Tom Wait on Friday spoke to some families who have been relocated to hotels while the gas company tries to stop the leak.
George and Susan Chang are doing the familiar post-Thanksgiving ritual — heating up delicious leftovers.
But the ritual is different this year because the Changs are in a hotel room. They essentially evacuated their home in Porter Ranch blaming the gas leak.
“I would never have imagined that we would have to move out because the quality of the air was so toxic and poisoned,” said Susan Gorman-Chang.
“You wouldn’t have believed it. I never would have thought such a thing would have happened, but here we are,” said George.
The Changs are like thousands of Porter Ranch residents who live close to the Aliso Canyon natural gas well.
Back on October 23, a leak was discovered underground. Since that time, a massive amount of methane has spewed from the broken pipe casing. Along with it, chemicals inside the natural gas that allows us to smell it — the same chemicals the LA county health department says can cause short-term headaches, breathing issues and nausea.
Health officials last week issued a directive to the gas company to pay for families to relocate. So far, Wait reports, more than 170 families have taken the offer.
“That stuff is in my carpets. It’s in the furniture. It’s in the house getting recirculated,” says resident Matt Pakucko. He also moved out of his home. He’s with the group Save Porter Ranch — a watchdog organization that says the well is too dangerous to be near homes.
“It’s over for that place. We need to shut it down,” Pakucko said.
The Gas company says they do not have a timeline for when the well will be fixed and the lack of knowing is a massive disruption to many households.
“We don’t know what we’re going to do for Christmas, so yeah, just a lot of unknowns,” said Susan.
Wait also spoke with several other families off camera who also told him they have moved out of their homes — none of them know when they will go back.