Frustrated Porter Ranch residents want answers in gas leak
PORTER RANCH, Calif. -- A health emergency continues to unfold in the Los Angeles suburb of Porter Ranch, where a natural gas leak has forced thousands from their homes.
Three months after natural gas began pouring into their neighborhood, angry residents were in no mood Friday night to hear from state regulators about long-term plans.
"There's been smells emanating from these hills for years!" one person said.
"What are you doing now to help us?" another person asked. "Legislation down the road doesn't help!"
After suffering from a litany of health problems, Nancy and Larry Davis told CBS News they had to leave.
"Nosebleeds, nauseous, just couldn't stop coughing," Nancy Davis said.
The gas company says there will be no long-term health effects, but the Davises don't believe them.
"No," Nancy Davis said. "I have a biochemistry degree, so I don't trust, I don't believe that."
Infrared video shows the enormous plume spewing from a damaged well in the hills above Porter Ranch.
Air quality measurements from independent researchers show elevated levels of methane -- 67 times above normal.
It could be two months before drilling is complete on a relief well. One short-term fix called for burning off the leaking gas, but state regulators are concerned that plan could cause an explosion.
"There's just this holding pattern that the community's in," Paula Cracium, president of the neighborhood council, told CBS News.
"We have people that were in the process of selling their home here," Cracium said. "They bought another home, they now have two homes because that one fell out of escrow. You've got a home up here that you can't sell right now!"
Along with a fear that their town will never be the same.
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