Natural Gas Issue Closes Oologah-Talala Schools For Fourth Day
OOLOGAH, Oklahoma - Oologah Public Schools canceled classes for Thursday, the fourth day this week.
A natural gas line is leaking on the campus and making the repair could push classes back even further.
Plumbers working for the school district have still been unable to find the natural gas leak.
The problem started when someone walking on the track Sunday night smelled gas, so the gas company shut down the main line to the campus.
Ever since, they've been searching for the leak.
The problem is it could be almost anywhere and there could be more than one leak.
After three days of work, only a few things are certain - the leak is somewhere on the campus side of the gas line and it's outside, not in the buildings.
Technicians from Oklahoma Natural Gas and a private contractor are working on the problem.
Oologah Public Schools superintendent, Max Tanner said, "A lot of time already trying to find the actual leaks."
The superintendent can trace where the leaking line is believed to be but the blueprints were lost in the 1991 tornado. Without them, the worst option of replacing the entire line is complicated by not knowing what else is down there.
And according to Tanner, a short term above ground line isn't an option, “We've talked about that but they're not willing to do that either."
The unexpected week out has parents like Paul Firito looking for their own options.
“We're trying to scramble and find babysitters and anything we can do take care of the kids while we have a work week,” he said.
On campus, the search continues between every building, but the district is making plans to both replace the main line and figure out how to get children back in class as soon as possible.
The superintendent believes, at this point, Friday is unlikely and it could be extended into next week.
As they continue to search for the source of the problem, the superintendent said he'll try to let parents know around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., each day, whether they'll have classes.