PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --The ongoing gas leak in Porter Ranch has been capped for several weeks, but about 4,000 families still have not moved back home, and some of those living in hotels now have the option of moving into apartments.
The Southern California Gas Company showed off one of the 350 corporate-style apartments that will now be available to select Porter Ranch residents who have been staying in hotels since the gas leak first started in October 2015.
The company said this will save SoCal Gas money and residents hassle after spending close to half $1 million a day. SoCal Gas will make payments themselves, but they've implemented a tight deadline for those invited.
"Folks have to meet the deadline. They have to make a choice by noon on the 18th of this month how they're going to move forward, and then they have to have relocated by the 22nd," said Mike Mizrahi of SoCal Gas.
Residents will have to move out of the hotel by next Friday - this as residents continue to tell the same tale about trying to return home.
"Every time we do come home, we get sick. We get nauseous, headaches. We get nosebleeds, said Ben Kaczor, a displaced Porter Ranch resident.
"Yes, methane dissipates, mercaptan dissipates - that isn't the issue. We want to know why benzene levels are high and xylene levels are high, and hexane levels are high," said Andrew Krowne, another concerned resident. "The things that will kill us and give us cancer. Prove to us that it's safe and until you can, that facility has to remain completely shut down."
Porter Ranch residents that have been displaced were asked to check their email and mail as the apartments are being offered to 350 families in this first phase.
The deadline to make a decision on the move is Monday at noon.