This hollow used to be peaceful.
Not long ago, Randy Heater and his daughters would roam the Monroe County hills to hunt, setting up deer stands on quiet fall days when the air was still.
On Dec. 13, that stillness shattered.
Crews lost control of a fracked well on a hilltop near Heater’s house. Natural gas surged into the air.
From their backyard, less than a mile from the well, the Heaters heard it. The rushing gas sounded like a broken air hose, Heater said — a deep, steady WHOOOOSH.
As the weekend approached, gas was still spewing uncontrollably.
Families within a mile and a half of the well have been evacuated, although not all have left their homes. They’ve been allowed back during the day, to grab clothes and feed animals, but they are supposed to be elsewhere at night.
The county emergency management agency says the families might be allowed home for good by Wednesday, Christmas Eve, but officials aren’t sure.Click here to read more.
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