Chlorine Leak Causes Precautionary Evacuation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/22/05

Chlorine Leak Causes Precautionary Evacuation

What's going on out there? Something in the air driving people out of Hilton Head Island? The good news is that there was no one hurt. It came from a chlorine tank used by the city to clean well water, and it certainly had some folks worried for a while.

By late Friday afternoon, Hilton Head Plantation was back to a lazy spring Friday. But, just a couple hours earlier, some people were more than a little worried.

According to Adam Metropolis, "it was scary. I was actually getting a little bit dizzy, and so was my dad. We were pretty worried about it." Adam's dad had been barbecuing outside and noticed the odor right around the time one of his neighbors called 911. "So we closed all the windows, and maybe 15 minutes later, a security guard knocked on the door and told us we had to evacuate."

The chlorine leak at this city well facility forced about 20 homes and three businesses to evacuate. Joheida Fister, Deputy Fire Marshal explained that "The leak came from the bottom of the chlorine tank and it was just from corrosion over time."

The evacuations were a precaution more than anything, and security at Hilton Head Plantation actually let some people back in briefly to get things like pets and medication. Resident Ray Carlton said, "another car showed up, another security agent. She said as long as you promise you re only going to be there for a few seconds, i ll let you go. So she followed me here and I got what I wanted and left."

An hour later, things were back to normal.

Again, no one was hurt because of this chlorine leak. Hazmat investigators first got there around 12:15; and they let people back into their homes a little before 4 PM this afternoon.

Reported by: Chris Copperthwaite. Email ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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