Serene Lakes update: No new propane leaks reported in past 48 hours, officials say |

Serene Lakes update: No new propane leaks reported in past 48 hours, officials say

Jason Shueh / Sierra SunA cabin lies in ruin on Bales Road in the Serene Lakes neighborhood after an explosion Friday decimated the former three-story structure, shooting wooden beams and debris into the air.

SODA SPRINGS, Calif. and#8212; As emergency workers continue to address a series propane gas leaks in the Serene Lakes area, Placer County officials announced Wednesday the relocation of the information center dedicated to updating the public regarding the evolving emergency.

An Evacuation Information Center set up last weekend at Sugar Bowl is now located upstairs at the Summit Restaurant and Bar, 22002 Donner Pass Road in Soda Springs, according to a press release from Robert Miller, spokesman for Placer County The center will be staffed Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Placer County officials are accepting calls at 530-886-5310.

A voluntary evacuation order for Serene Lakes remains in effect until further notice. The order was issued by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, in consultation with the Truckee Fire Protection District, on Saturday, April 9, after an unoccupied three-story cabin exploded the night before, destroying it and sending debris flying hundreds of feet. The source of the ignition has not been identified, and no one was injured.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a proclamation of local emergency for the area at its meeting on Monday, April 11.

The situation remains active as new leaks are detected. However, according to Wednesday’s press release, there have not been any additional confirmed leaks in the past 48 hours.

A community meeting is being scheduled for residents and property owners for Friday, April 15; details will be released later.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office will maintain a presence in the area for the duration of the evacuation. Public safety officials are encouraging residents and property owners in the area to leave and remain out of the neighborhood until the order is lifted.

If residents smell gas, they should leave the home immediately without turning on or off any light switches or power. Call 911 from outside the residence to report the gas odor and wait a safe distance away for emergency personnel to arrive.

The weight of the extraordinary snowpack this year has damaged pipes, valves, regulators and tanks. While there are no street closures currently in effect, Placer County reports there are individual residences that have been closed off with snow berms, and entry into those areas is prohibited until propane levels dissipate.

The warming weather is causing snowmelt, which is adding to the weight on propane plumbing. Propane vapor is heavier than air and seeks the path of least resistance while flowing downhill similar to water. The thawing and freezing snow causes the snow to crust over making it harder for the propane to find a path out of the snowpack.

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