A strong odor that carried through Long Beach, Island Park, Oceanside and other South Shore towns Wednesday, prompting numerous calls to city and Nassau County fire and police officials and causing local schools to keep their students inside, is being investigated by National Grid and Nassau County Office of Emergency Management.
Long Beach Fire Chief Richard Corbett said that a barge off the coast of Long Beach was possibly to blame for the pungent stench of natural gas that people began to smell around 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Long Beach Herald.
About the gas-like smell, Corbett said:
“Due to the weather conditions, it usually vents up into the atmosphere, but due to the fog and the rain it held [the gas] down and the wind blew it onto our shores.”
But Wendy Ladd, a spokeswoman for National Grid, said that a barge would not cause such an odor and that the county agency continues to investigate the source of the smell that seemed to emanating from Long Beach.
"National Grid confirmed that the odor was not natural gas," Ladd wrote in an email to Patch on Thursday. "The source of the odor is undetermined."
Responding to a query about the odor, posted on Long Beach Patch’s Facebook page, Carol Mejia wrote that she noticed the smell while driving into Island Park: “This morning as I drove over the [Long Beach] Bridge at about 10 am., I smelled something sulfur-like. I figured it was from a vehicle.”
Jaine Seigel Italiano wrote that she and her friends were on Park Avenue when they smelled something rotten: “My friends and I were at a store across from the Long Beach train station at about eleven and we smelled something like a strong sulfur smell, it was horrible, like rotten eggs!”
Another resident indicated that the smell might be part of ongoing stench in Long Beach. “There is a strong gas smell that lasts for hours on and off near Laurelton Boulevard and Park Avenue,” Jeannie Santiago wrote. “It’s been there for a while!”
At Oceanside School District, where students and personnel were "locked in" for more than an hour, two pregnant elementary school teachers went home due to the strong smell, Newsday reports.
* This story was updated at 2:17 p.m. on 5.10.12.
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