Some residents of Powhatan Point remain refugees
BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio —
Well pad remediation continues for XTO Energy after a well pad explosion and fire two weeks ago. That means a handful of evacuated residents still cannot return home.
This is day 14 of evacuation for residents within one-half mile of the affected well pad on Cat's Run Road.
Carol Matesick is a lifelong resident and organist at the Amity United Methodist Church along State Route 148.
Little did she and her husband, Milan, know that they would be taking up short-term residence at the church's adjacent apartment following the evacuation order two weeks prior.
Carol recalled the moment she knew something - on the run - was amiss.
"I told my husband ‘This sounds like a swarm of bees’,” Carol said. “And it just was loud, so I went over and opened the window and looked out and it was just all noise out there."
Minutes later, the Matesicks received a call.
"The phone rang, and a man said that we were going to have to leave right away,” Carol said.
The Matesicks are one of just four families who remain displaced in the 1/2-mile evacuation zone.
The progress continues on Cat's Run Road.
XTO Energy's well control team successfully removed the portion of the crane that fell on an adjacent wellhead and is staging the pad site for well containment work.
A fully assembled bridge will be installed over Cat’s Run Creek to create an additional entrance and exit from the pad to enhance on-site worker safety during the well control process.
Meanwhile, the Matesicks are hoping to return home as soon as possible.
"This is two weeks,” Carol said. “And it sounds as loud as ever."
With rain and high winds in the forecast, the team continues to monitor weather conditions to ensure safe operations.
Air monitoring continues -- and the XTO claims office remains open.