Most of the evacuated residents of Plymouth, Washington, were able to return to their homes Monday night after an explosion at a natural gas tank rocked the small town on the Washington-Oregon border.
Officials have reduced the evacuation zone to people who live within one mile of the facility. They had previously ordered everyone within two miles to leave.
“Obviously you’d be somewhat there at your own risk because if something goes wrong, it’s going to go wrong rapidly,” says Duane VanBeek, the spokesman for the response team.
VanBeek says officers planned to patrol the area all night long.
State Route 14 is now open. The Columbia River is also open to barge traffic. Rail traffic is still closed because metal from the explosion damaged the tracks.
Two small fires are still burning at the facility. VanBeek says there is still residual gas in the pipeline.
Copyright 2014 Northwest News