Monongalia County Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency has issued an evacuation order for a one mile radius area of Longview Power Plant on Fort Martin Road. Fort Martin Road also is closed.
Emergency responders are at the scene with an active methane gas fire within the coal-fired power plant, according to Mike Wolfe, director of the Monongalia Emergency Centralized Communications Agency. The order is being issued as a precaution, according to a statement released by the agency. One of six tanks, each containing several thousand gallons of methane gas, has caught on fire, although it has not exploded, according to Mr. Wolfe.
Emergency officials believe they have contacted everyone living in the 10 residences located within one mile of the power plant while emergency responders from a half-dozen fire departments and from the Monongalia County Hazardous Materials Team are on scene and are working to get the fire under control. No other combustible materials are near the fire.
“They have been able to turn off the gas leading into the plant, they just haven’t been able to make contact with the tank itself that is on fire,” Mr. Wolfe said.
There are no reported injuries and all employees have been safely evacuated. However, anyone in the one mile area of the power plant is still urged to evacuate toward Route 100. A shelter is available for anyone who is displaced at the Granville Fire Social Hall in Granville.