Most residents of Milford, Texas got the green light to go back home Saturday afternoon, two days after they were evacuated in the wake of a natural gas fire near that small town between Waxahachie and Hillsboro.
The evacuation zone was reduced from a 1.5 mile radius to a half-mile radius of the Chevron Pipe Line Company site as a small fire continued to burn, according to a statement issued on behalf of Chevron.
The small community became a ghost town in the wake of Thursday morning's blast, although residents were permitted to return for short periods of time on Friday to retrieve personal items and to feed pets.
Here is the full text of Chevron's Saturday statement:
The West Texas LPG pipeline Unified Incident Command has reduced the evacuation zone around the incident site to 0.5 mile radius from the previous 1.5 mile radius and the majority of Milford residents can return to their homes this afternoon.
There is still a small residual fire at the site of the ruptured 10 pipeline which has been isolated. Flaring began early this morning in order to eliminate the remaining product in the nearby 14-inch pipeline. These flares may be visible to residents while flaring continues.
Air monitoring continues. Results of that monitoring indicate the air quality in the area is within normal ranges. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has issued a public statement stating that it has been monitoring air quality since the incident occurred and has detected no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or particulate matter at levels of concern.
Chevron Pipe Line Company would like to again express our regret to those impacted by this event and thanks to the Milford community for their patience and understanding. We also want to acknowledge and thank the local firefighters, emergency responders, law enforcement, local and state elected officials, other local and state agencies, and The American Red Cross for their support and cooperation.
A toll-free claims hotline continues to be available for affected residents: 855-276-1272.