A call just after midnight woke the people living near the Carolina Pride plant on New Market Street Sunday morning — they had to evacuate.
The plant began leaking anhydrous ammonia at about 12:25 a.m., according to a Facebook post by the Greenwood Police Department, and residents in the area were evacuated while officials worked to contain the leak. Sonja Crenshaw was among the people evacuated and taken to an American Red Cross reception center.
“It was kind of surreal,” she said. “I think it was just 2 o’clock in the morning, and normally you just don’t get calls at that hour.”
She said evacuees were given blankets, food and water, and were offered cots so they could get back to sleep if need be. All the while, she said, the county’s CodeRED system was keeping them updated on the latest information.
“The CodeRED system, it worked really, really well,” she said.
The call about the leak came in to police at about 12:30 a.m., said Jonathan Link, Greenwood Police Department public information officer. Shortly after police learned the extent of the leak, they joined firefighters in going door-to-door to tell people to evacuate.
Officials had the leak contained soon after, and by 3:45 a.m., Greenwood firefighters were walking through nearby neighborhoods with tools to measure the presence of any leaked ammonia in the air. Firefighters had to wait on state Department of Health and Environmental Control officials before giving the all-clear, which eventually came at about 6:30 a.m.
To sign up for the county’s CodeRED system, visit bit.ly/2pG1zWP, or call 864-942-8553.