Gas pocket has Ponca City family out of home for a year

Ponca City Now - October 13, 2014 7:42 am

A family I told you about 162 days ago is still displaced from their home because of oil. Its now been over a year since they started smelling gas and the coroporation commission started testing the land around their house. Chris Walls, owner of the house said they are now telling him his house is located on a gas pocket.

“I could remedy this situation by putting in basically like a French drain, where they put piping in underground to collect that gas and bend it away from my home," Walls said. "Then ONG would be able to come in and turn my gas back on, and I would be able to move back in, but it’s very expensive like $15,000 to 30,000 to have a system like that put in.”

Walls said the state has a gas seep fund, but the money has since been spent and the fund hasn’t received more money. And he said he feels Governor Fallin is the one to blame.

"Right now I am pushing for Joe Dorman to be our next Governor, because he has told me if he gets elected it will be one of the first things he does to make sure that, that fund has money put back into it to help me and there is another family in Owasso, the Murphy’s that are going through the same thing right now," Walls said. "Then there is an old man in Tulsa that’s in his 80s that’s dealing with it."

Walls said he has four state representatives trying to get funding through the house, but it seems Fallin is the one stopping it. The others in the Tulsa area are still in their houses and have gone all electric, but Walls feels it isn’t safer. He said he just wants out of this nightmare.

"I’ll never be able sell it, I don’t see it possible, I don’t think a homeless man would want the home," Walls said. "It’s not livable, there is gas in that house, you can smell it when you go in, it sets my meter off when I go in and it don’t do that in other places."

Even if selling was an option, that house is home to his family and they want their home back.

"The rental cost me more than my mortgage payment and the rental is nothing compared to my home," Walls said. "It doesn’t feel like my home, like during the summer I couldn’t have a little kiddie pool for my daughter, because it’s against the lease. You can’t enjoy the things at home. There’s no sense in planting flowers when you don’t know how long you’re going to be there, and if you ever looked at my yard this summer I have all kinds of flowers, fruit trees. I hand fed the squirrels. Home is just so different than the house I am in right now."

Walls said he doesn’t plan to give up, even if this is the last thing he does on earth, he will win.


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