LAUSD board to vote whether to close schools near gas leak

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The weeks-long stench from a gas leak in a Porter Ranch neighborhood will not be going away any time soon.

The latest concern for residents is about the future of two local schools.

Some parents said as much as their children have been getting sick at school, they can't believe the Los Angeles Unified School District board is just now deciding to take up the issue of whether to shut down Castlebay Elementary School and Porter Ranch Community School.

"I'm hoping that they are going to shut it down because it's right in the pathway of the gas leak and my son has been going to the nurse's office and both of my kids have been throwing up," parent Hailey Cohen said.

MORE: Video shows toxic plume releasing in Porter Ranch, experts say

On Thursday, the school board plans to take up the issue of whether to relocate students from the schools.

Both schools are located in close proximity of the gas leak at the Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility.

"SoCal Gas believes that that's a decision for the school board to make," Mike Mizrahi with SoCal Gas said.

Parent Judy Powell said she has already taken her son out of Porter Ranch Community School and they have relocated to another area.

"I've had to take my son Shane out because he did get sick," Powell said. "I think for our children's safety it's the best thing to relocate the school."

MORE: SoCal Gas may take months to fix ongoing gas leak in Porter Ranch

An attorney representing some of the residents said if the school board is thinking about the health of the students it will close the schools.

"We think it's an important vote that they do shut the schools down and relocate these children," Patricia Oliver with R. Rex Parris Law Firm said.

Recently the Federal Aviation Administration imposed a temporary flight restriction over the area for fear that low-flying planes could ignite fumes from the ongoing natural gas leak.

The temporary flight restriction has a half-mile radius and extends to 2,000 feet altitude. According to the FAA, the restriction is set to be in place until March 8, 2016.

MORE: Porter Ranch gas leak prompts FAA flight restrictions
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