Gas odor prompts voluntary evacuation in Valencia County

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LOS LUNAS, N.M. — There is a strong gas odor apparently originating from Rio Communities. An evacuation center has been set up at the Fernandez gym in Los Lunas.

“Right now, what we are doing, we are prepared to open up three gyms if need be,” said John Gabaldon, the Los Lunas fire chief. “We are prepared to open the middle school and high school as a resource. It looks like it’ll be the middle next, if need be, so we just have to stay fluid with communication through Facebook, and you guys, so folks know what gym to come to.”

The primary evacuation site is the Daniel Fernandez Youth Center on the south side of Los Lunas. They can hold around 60 to 80 people comfortably. If more come, the middle school gym is much larger.

KOB 4 did reach out to the New Mexico Gas Company, and a spokesperson said:

“I can confirm we have crews on scene. I cannot confirm that it is a gas leak. We are investigating.”

Belen dispatch received more than 30 calls from people who are concerned about the smell in town. If no one arrives at the shelter by 10:30 p.m., they will close down. However, if the situation gets worse, they can reopen at a moment’s notice.