Davenport: SchoolsiReact As Mysterious Gas Smell Returns - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport: Schools & Genesis West React As Mysterious Gas Smell Returns

Updated: Oct 8, 2012 09:47 PM CDT

The smell of natural gas caused several Davenport schools to evacuate Monday morning, October 8, 2012. The odor also sent some employees from Genesis West home sick.

According to Dawn Saul, Communications/Media Relations for Davenport Community Schools, students from North High School, Harrison Elementary School and the Kimberly Center were evacuated for approximately 20 minutes. According to reports, this affected around 1,700 students.

Five other schools were also impacted including Smart Intermediate, Monroe Elementary, Adams Elementary, Williams Intermediate, and Children's Village West. Building staff acted quickly to ensure student safety.

"It's a sulfur smell, similar to an odor that's in natural gas," says Davenport Schools Director of Operations Scott Martin.

It's a smell surrounded in mystery that has forced the evacuation of several Davenport Schools not once, but twice in the past few weeks.

"The second one makes it more serious in my opinion. We just know we can't continue to operate where we're going to evacuate students," says Martin, "We don't want to make that decision whether to evacuate or not on a monthly basis, we've got to find out what the cause is."

The school district is investing the odor, but no one can figure out where the natural gas like smell is coming from.

"I'm very concerned at this point due to the fact that Mid-American can't find a source," adds the Director of Operations.

Davenport school leaders aren't giving up.

"I've called the fire department and I'm asking for their assistance. We may have to go to the county health department to try and get some determination," says Martin.

A big part of the problem in figuring out the smell's source is it was wide spread and moved very quickly during Monday's incident.

"By the time my staff got down to Monroe and Smart it was pretty much dissipated," adds Martin.

The district is prepared and will follow the same evacuation plan just in case the mystery smell comes back.

"If it's worse outside we shelter employees and shut down our mechanical equipment so we aren't bringing in fresh air," says Martin, "If the smell has already been brought into the building than we'll tell them to evacuate so we can get the building aired out."

A spokesperson for Genesis, Craig Cooper, said several employees went home sick complaining of nausea and headaches caused by the smell. He said several radiation treatments for cancer patients were also postponed. He said the Davenport Fire Department came to check things out, but did not find a gas leak.

Tim Grabinski, an official with MidAmerican says that after an investigation, crews determined the odor wasn't a (natural) gas smell at all. Grabinski says it did not come from their system. He added that MidAmerican crews had found no gas leaks in the area.

A similar incident occurred on August 24, 2012. Read the full story here... http://www.kwqc.com/story/19371877/mystery-gas-smell-in-west-davenport

Powered by WorldNow

805 Brady Street, Davenport, IA 52803

Telephone: 563.383.7000
Fax: 563.383.7131
Email: news@kwqc.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Davenport, Inc. A Media General Company.