Natural gas leak the cause of Tuesday evacuations in Hoquiam

An uncontrolled natural gas release at the intersection of Bay Ave and Ontario Street in Hoquiam resulted in evacuations on Tuesday afternoon. 

The leak was reported at approximately 2:15 PM as a smell of gas coming from a building and an uncontrolled natural gas release was discovered in a 2-inch Cascade Natural Gas service line. 

Police, Fire, and Cascade Natural Gas responded to the scene and evaluated the situation. 

As a precaution, evacuation orders were issued for the two blocks anticipated to be affected by the release. 

These evacuations were made by door-to-door notification of on scene Law and Fire personnel as well as Grays Harbor County Emergency Alerts. 

No other areas were evacuated as a result of the release. 

Traffic was restricted from 22nd Ave to Myrtle Street on Bay Ave, Pacific Ave, and Aberdeen Ave. 

Grays Harbor YMCA offered their facility as a sheltering location for people displaced by the evacuation orders. 

The National Weather Service – Seattle was able to provide in-time Plume Modeling for responders on scene to evaluate the need for further evacuation orders based on current and projected weather patterns.

At 4:45 PM, the release was contained by Cascade Natural Gas and evacuation orders were lifted for the area.

The cause of the release is under investigation, and the Hoquiam Police Department shared that an “older heavily damaged white Toyota pickup with scrap metal in the bed” was seen leaving the area at the onset of the leak.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Simpson 360-532-0892 x297 or email at [email protected].