Walker County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Regina Myers said the gas was escaping from underground mines in the community.
“The water in the wells was actually gurgling from the gas escaping through the top,” Myers said.
A resident on Cordova-Gorgas Road discovered the problem around 4 p.m. on Saturday. She was later evacuated when the concentration of methane gas was discovered to be 500 parts per million.
The ground around her property also tested positive for the gas. Local officials then made the decision to disconnect power to the home.
“They tested some of the wells at the surrounding houses and got readings at four more places that night,” Myers said.
The gas later spread to wells on Wiggins Road and Underwood Ferry Road. At least seven properties were affected by the problem, according to Myers.
A local mining engineer recommended that vents be placed on the wells to remove the immediate danger to homeowners.
Myers said the vents are only a temporary solution. The wells must be sealed in order to protect the safety of residents.
Myers said officials with Alabama Power Company will likely assist with capping the wells.
In addition to Walker County EMA, representatives were on scene from Cordova Fire and Rescue, the Barney Volunteer Fire Department, Walker County Sheriff’s Office and Alagasco.