Gas leak forces evacuation in Georgia amid storm cleanup

March 28, 2021 GMT

NEWNAN, Ga. (AP) — A gas leak forced officials Sunday to evacuate some residents in Newnan, a Georgia city cleaning up after a powerful tornado days earlier ripped roofs off numerous homes and buildings.

Newnan city officials ordered evacuations along two streets, saying in social media posts that a large gas leak had left the area unsafe. A few hours later, Newnan officials posted that the gas line had been capped and it was safe for people to return home.

Atlanta Gas Light issued a statement saying its crews assisted first responders in repairing a broken gas line. The utility said the line had been cut by a group of contractors.

It was not immediately known if the gas leak was related to extensive storm damage in the area. The National Weather Service said a powerful EF-4 tornado struck Newnan and surrounding Coweta County as violent storms rolled through northern Georgia late Thursday and early Friday.

Some homes were torn from their foundations and Newnan High School suffered serious damage. One person was killed in the storm after experiencing a “medical emergency” while trapped inside a home buried under limbs and debris.