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Crews in Louisa County Continue to Investigate Gas Leak

Posted: Updated:
LOUISA, Va. (WVIR) -

County officials in Louisa are still working to determine the source of a gas leak that streamed into the water system in the town of Louisa Thursday, November 29.

There is still a "Do Not Use" order in effect for public water customers in the town of Louisa. 

As of 5:15 a.m., Friday November 30, water authority and town staff completed a flush of the water system and conducted a water quality test, which came back clean. The Health Department requires a second clean test to lift the "Do Not Use" order on public water.  

When the order is lifted, homes and businesses in the area will have to further flush their individual systems. There will be instructions provided for that process. 

Louisa County declared an emergency evacuation for all people within a half-mile radius of the Glen Marye Shopping Center at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. and a temporary shelter was set up at Moss Nucklos Elementary School. 

According to county supervisor Duane Adams, the gas levels found near the shopping center were approaching a combustible mix.

The county water authority issued a warning to people living in the town of Louisa to not use or drink the water after an unknown gas was found in it at around 4 p.m. Thursday. 

Louisa County Public Schools canceled school Friday. and a temporary shelter is being set up at Moss Nuckols Elementary School.

Around midnight, Adams said everyone within the half-mile radius had been evacuated from the area and about 80 people were using the emergency shelter that had been set up.

The evacuation was lifted in the early morning hours on Friday. 


Update from Louisa County at 5:15 a.m.

The Do Not Use order is still in place for water and the incident is still under investigation.  

Water Authority and town staff have completed a full system flush and the water plant has been restarted for a system recharge.  The first round of water testing is complete and the results of lab testing by the state Division of Consolidated Lab Services are clean.  

The Department of Health requires a clean second round of tests before the Do Not Use order can be lifted on the water.  Those samples are being collected and sent to the lab for testing.  Results should be back by midmorning.  They will be communicated to VDH and (assuming they are clean) the Do Not Use order can be lifted afterward.  If the second samples show contamination, the Do Not Use order will stand and further action will be required.  

When the Do Not Use order is lifted, further flushing of individual systems (homes and businesses) will be required.  Instructions will be provided at that time.  

All Louisa County Public Schools are closed Friday 11/30/18.  A delayed opening of County Offices (11am) is planned.  Landfill and Recycling facilities will open on time. 

Please be safe and continue to check this site for further information.  The Public Information Hotline is also still open at 540.967.3496.  


Update from Louisa County Nov. 29 at 10:10 p.m.

Louisa County is declaring a emergency evacuation for all people within a half mile radius of the Glen Marye Shopping Center in the Town of Louisa to ensure safe conditions during a continuing gas leak investigation. A temporary shelter is being set up at Moss Nuckols Elementary School.

If you are unable to drive and need transportation to the Temporary shelter, there will be buses picking up in between the Circuit and General District Court. If you need assistance you call (540)967-3496. Map to follow.


Update at 8:10 p.m. on November 29:

UPDATE – Louisa County has been notified that the only households affected are those that are being provided water or billed by the Town of Louisa and only around the area of the Town of Louisa. This will not affect those on private wells or any other area outside of the Town of Louisa.

We are also asking to let the public know that the “DO NOT USE ORDER” mean do not use the water in the affected area for any purpose including bathing, drinking, cooking, toilet flushing or use with pets and livestock.

It should not be used for any purpose whatsoever. Authorities are working hard to determine what has caused the readings that were obtained. The DO NOT USE ORDER was put into effect as a public safety measure.


Press Release from Louisa County Sheriff's Office November 28:

The Louisa County Water Authority and the Town of Louisa are issuing a Do Not Use order for Water within and in the vicinity of the town of Louisa.

The presence of a gas was reported today, which has yet to be determined, has been identified in the water system. Tested levels have been determined not to constitute an explosive risk but may be a health hazard.

Emergency personnel and trained experts are working identify the gas and the source of its release. The Do Not Use order will be in effect until further notice.

Concerned citizens may call 540.967.3496 with questions or concerns. Thank you for your understanding.