GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Home sweet home. Probably never so sweet as for those who haven't been able to return home since a natural gas leak and explosion Tuesday afternoon prompted an evacuation order only lifted Friday morning.
Officials say all residents are now allowed to go home, but must first check in at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, 730 Mesa Ave., before going inside. They'll be paired with an Xcel Energy employee who will go inside to turn on gas, electricity and re-light pilot lights.
As it has been, 7th Street will remain closed, allowing workers and equipment access to the street. The closure also allows for additional venting. Residents can access their homes by coming north from Elm Ave.
Both Xcel and City of Grand Junction crews will remain in the area, continuing to test and evaluate to ensure it remains safe for a few more days. Officials say residents shouldn't be alarmed to see workers, they're present out of an abundance of caution.
Crews ask homeowners to monitor their toilets and drains for the next few weeks. Officials say a part of the process for ventilating the gas out of the sewer will have an effect on sewer lines inside homes. Residents who notice toilets not functioning properly, such as water draining on its own or not refilling after flushing, should call 911 to report it. And as always, anyone who notices the smell of natural gas should evacuate their home and contact 911 immediately.