Peñitas gas leak prompts temporary road closure, school evacuation

PEÑITAS — A gas leak on Thursday caused the temporary closure of Tom Gill Road, located between Marble and Volcano Streets, and the precautionary evacuation of a local elementary school.

“From our understanding, there was some kind of a dirt buildup that caused the pressure to go up,” said City Manager Omar Romero. “And the release valve went off and started releasing the excess pressure into the air.”

City officials evacuated the immediate vicinity, which included a home right next to a leak and businesses right across the street, according to Romero.

“But nobody in the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said.

La Joya school district officials, however, evacuated the nearby John F. Kennedy Elementary, according to news release issued by the school district.

The entire campus was evacuated to the district’s performing arts center, where parents were able to pick up their children. The students were kept there until the area was cleared.

The issue was resolved around 9:45 a.m. and Tom Gill Road was reopened shortly afterward.