UNIVERSAL CITY (CBSLA.com) — Nearly 3,000 families have been relocated because of the SoCal Gas Company’s methane leak – and some have chosen to stay at a hotel where more than 100 rooms are now housing families from Porter Ranch.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports this is what Leslie Eng calls her “new normal”: the mother of six and her family have been living at the Universal Sheraton to get away from the gas leak at the Aliso Canyon facility.
In Porter Ranch, the Engs have a five-bedroom three-bath house with plenty of space for the kids to play – but they’re now living out of two rooms at the Sheraton.
“We’ve been here for about a month now,” Eng said. “The novelty has definitely worn off.”
They were one of the first families to take the relocation offer from SoCal Gas after 10-year-old Megan says the family started having unusual symptoms.
“A lot of us were having, like, nosebleeds and everything,” said Megan. “Our family…is like, ‘We don’t really have a lot of nose bleeds.”
Another Porter Ranch resident, Eli Massoud, says the gas leak has taken its toll on his daughter.
“Two days ago, she just threw up about 17 times,” he said. “It’s been terrible.”
For all of the relocated Porter Ranch families, getting their kids to school has been a challenge. Eng says her family drives as much as 20 miles more one-way than they had previously driven – and that’s not counting the commutes from the hotel to all of the children’s after-school activities.
SoCal Gas is now promising to stop the leak by next month, a promise that is bringing some hope to these families.
“Hopefully, we are getting an honest assessment as to what’s going on,” said Eng. “And we just hope that there is truth. And that they are able to fix this in a timely manner.”
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday said he wants to treat the gas leak “like a crime scene.”
“This is like a crime scene,” he said. “We need to make sure there’s accountability and laws in place so this doesnt happen again.”