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Homes near Castle Rock evacuated for strong gas odor

Homes near Castle Rock evacuated for strong gas odor

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Homes were evacuated after a report of a strong natural gas odor near exit 48 along I-5 near Castle Rock Wednesday evening.

According to Cowlitz County Sheriff Chief Administrative Deputy Dave Handy, deputies helped evacuate residents from homes in the 100 block of Walnut Acres between Kelso and Castle Rock. He could not say how many were evacuated.

Handy said a sheriff's office report states the cause of the smell was caused by an equipment malfunction and the odor likely would remain in the area for a few hours.

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The latest Cowlitz County Department of Heath report projects that the county will drop down to Phase 2 when the counties are re-evaluated April 12. The entire state entered Phase 3 March 22, but to stay there the county must have a new case rate of less than 200 new cases per 100,000 people and fewer than five new hospitalizations per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

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