UPDATE Principal: Schools Open After Gas Leak

Principal Christopher Weikart said Thursday night Mattamuskeet Elementary and Mattamuskeet High Schools in Swan Quarter will both be open for normal school hours Friday after a gas leak shut down school Thursday morning.

Weikart says Piedmont Natural Gas completed a full evaluation of the Mattamuskeet Campus in Hyde County to ensure safety of all students and staff and found a small leak on a regulator in the kitchen as well as higher than normal concentration of mercaptan additive which is used to detect gas leaks in the gas lines. Weikart says he higher concentration was a result of an odorization equipment malfunction that releases mercaptan additive into gas lines.

Weikart says the regulator has been shut off until proper repairs are made, and Piedmont Natural Gas has removed the malfunctionin equipment.

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Officials say no gas leaks were immediately found after an odor once again closed down two Hyde County schools.

Students at Mattamuskeet Elementary and Mattamuskeet High schools were released around 9:15 a.m. Thursday. High school principal Christopher Weikart says the schools were closed due to the small amount of mercaptan, that's the additive that gives natural gas its odor. Weikart says the smell was detected in the cafeteria around 8:40 a.m. and administrators followed the school's safety program to release students.

Three years ago around this same time of year the schools were closed multiple times because of natural gas odor. Then, Piedmont Natural Gas believed it corrected the problem by flushing the gas lines.

After today's odor was investigated, Piedmont Natural Gas said there was no leak at the school.

The gas company said it was also purging lines of odorant near the ABC store on U.S. 264 this afternoon.

The principal says they will notify parents tonight whether classes will resume Friday.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by me on Oct 25, 2011 at 01:11 PM
    they forever havin a gas leak!
  • by DeAnna on Oct 21, 2011 at 04:09 PM
    It seems like every year there is a gas leak at Mattamuskeet. Looks like much hasn't changed since I graduated.
  • by Really?? Location: Swan Quarter on Oct 20, 2011 at 05:30 PM
    First of all, the school uses natural gas, not lp. As far as "no leak", the school's automated system called with a message tonight that a leak was found in the kitchen. Does anyone really know what is going on out there? Mr. Coleman did a great job today as always.
  • by anonymous gran on Oct 20, 2011 at 04:55 PM
    The school's safety program was followed. The parents were notified. The kids are safe. There will be school tomorrow. The administration handled the situation very well.
  • by Anonymous Location: Swanquarter on Oct 20, 2011 at 02:15 PM
    I had to endure 6 hours of having to smell that while they flushed the lines.
  • by Fartman Location: the backside on Oct 20, 2011 at 02:04 PM
    Sorry my bad...I couldn't hold it any longer.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011 at 11:48 AM
    Why do adults many times act like kids, by posting stupid comments???? Anyway it's good no one got hurt/sick during this incident!!!
    • reply
      by Kid on Oct 20, 2011 at 05:17 PM in reply to
      Who Cut The Cheese!!
      • reply
        by Little Hercules on Oct 21, 2011 at 07:35 PM in reply to Kid
        No, day wuz colon cleansing.
    • reply
      by My Condolences on Oct 20, 2011 at 06:52 PM in reply to
      When did your inner child die? So sad for you. The rest of us will have fun in your honor!
    • reply
      by OSOC on Oct 21, 2011 at 05:18 AM in reply to
      As Bill Murray said in Stipes; Lighten up Francis!
  • by Broccoli, Too ! on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM
    Broccoli is quite a gas maker.
  • by Gerry Location: Emerald City on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:29 AM
    The "small of mercaptan"? Really. Isn't that the product added to propane to provide a tell-tale odor if there's a leak? Go cub reporter.
  • by Mama on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:10 AM
    Stop serving beans for lunch at school and this won't happen.
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