Haven residents grateful to be home after late-night evacuations due to plant explosion

Haven residents were relived to return home Friday morning after evacuation order followed...
Haven residents were relived to return home Friday morning after evacuation order followed natural gas expolosion at lan.(KWCH)
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 6:48 PM CDT
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HAVEN, Kan. (KWCH) - Evacuations lifted in Haven Friday morning after a large explosion Thursday afternoon at the Haven Midstream gas plant. The homecoming was filled with relief for many living in the small town in southeast Reno County.

The evacuation orders issued Thursday night left people quickly packing up their belongings and heading out of town. Reno County Emergency Management warned the evacuations could last three days. That order was lifted after less than 12 hours, a welcome turn of events for the 50 to 60 percent of people living in Haven who followed the recommended, but not required guidance to evacuate.

Reno County covered the expense for people to stay at hotels while others went to stay with family out of town. Cleared to return at about 6 a.m. Friday, residents grateful to be back in the comfort of their own homes had a chance to reflect on a day that was full of surprises, the biggest of which was the fire and explosions at the Haven Midstream gas plant.

“Sounded like an airplane was going over the school when it exploded at first,” said Haven resident Jillian Beckler.

The next surprise came late Thursday night with the evacuation orders.

“Police everywhere, They were going door-to-door,” Beckler said.

At about 9:30 p.m., emergency crews became concerned with a trapped pocket of liquid natural gas.

“They said it could be a bigger explosion than [the afternoon],” said resident Jonathan Hargrave.

Resident Savannah Reihs said cars were “just going like everywhere,” with much of the town trying to evacuate at once.

“I think we left at midnight or something,” Beckler said. “We packed bags and went over to Wichita, got a hotel and stayed there for the night.”

Now that those evacuated are home, they’re hoping to get some rest.

“Tiring, [because] we really didn’t get any sleep by the time we got there, start relaxing, it was about 2 to 3 o’clock.

Relief in Haven also comes knowing the situation surrounding the explosion and fire could have been worse and that the fire still burning is largely under control.

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