Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement
East Ridge High School was evacuated Friday after a natural gas odor was detected in the building. There were no reported injuries. (Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker)

East Ridge High School re-opens; odor that caused evacuation determined to be benign

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
News Cottage Grove,Minnesota 55016 http://www.swcbulletin.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/East%20Ridge.jpg?itok=e6ks3WVR
SWC Bulletin
651-459-9491 customer support
East Ridge High School re-opens; odor that caused evacuation determined to be benign
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Students were invited to return to East Ridge High School Friday afternoon after officials determined that an odor detected earlier in the day – and prompted an evacuation – at the building was benign.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The smell originated from a tar composite being used outside school grounds at a nearby construction project, said Woodbury Public Safety Officer Michelle Okada. When the odor worked its way into East Ridge’s ventilation system, it smelled like natural gas to many in the building, she explained.

“It was several teachers that were calling into the office,” Okada said.

Xcel Energy workers and Woodbury Public Safety staff scoured the building for hours and ultimately concluded the scent was from the construction site. Roads leading into the school were closed off during the investigation.

Okada said that while the event ended up fitting a much-ado-about-nothing profile, it also fit another cliché: better safe than sorry.

“When you have a couple thousand students,” she said, “it elevates it to a different level.”

School grounds are now open for students and, later, for fans of tonight’s 7 p.m. section football playoff game between the Raptors and Eastview.

Students can pick up personal items through 6:30 p.m. tonight, according to a district news release.

Advertisement
Mike Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
(715) 426-1072
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness