Sis2 has got me watching the news for her for updates on a reported gas leak in Manhattan. She's just a few blocks from what seems to be the epicenter of this situation. They've turned off the air in her building and are waiting to find out what's going on. Mayor Bloomberg will be making a statement soon.
10:20 AM EST Fox News channel is reporting that some buildings have been evacuated and NYPD is saying that the smell (Sis2 says it smells like gasoline) is not harmful and ConEd (the NYC power utility) says they don't have a leak. Current speculation is that something might be wrong in New Jersey. Other than this reports are pretty sketchy.
This story will likely be updated during the day.
No Bloomberg yet.
10:40 AM EST Fox News channel is reporting that the odor seems to be traveling north from the Village up into Harlem. The Mayor still hasn't spoken. Air quality monitors have been deployed.
10:44 AM EST Bloomberg speaks: Small leak in Bleecker Street area but not enough to account for the current odor. There may have been a leak of the chemical (mercaptan?) used to make natural gas smell. Air sensors not reporting elevated levels of NG. Most of closed train and subway stations have reopened. No drop in pressure reported by ConEd. Not dangerous but don't know what it is.
In case you didn't know mercaptan is added to colourless odorless methane (natural gas) so leaks can be detected. NYC seems to be shrugging and moving on to the next big thing in their day.
11:01 AM EST Word on the street is... nothing really at this point because we are being told to stay in our building with the windows closed until further notice. We were notified by the building management of the situation at 9:15 this morning. Family members and friends who are hearing or watching the news reports have been calling the office asking what is going on. I can say that the smell is finally starting to calm down.
From yours truly:a
11:10 AM EST Winds are picking up in the Apple (which may turn out to be the main culprit in this incident) helping to dissipate the odor. People are probably also getting used to the odor and aren't complaining about it as much. I've got to get back to work now.
11:45 AM EST The air and vent systems have been turned back on in the building, and the smell is getting increasingly better. In typical New Yorker fashion, people are back on the streets going about their business as usual. All the smokers are back out in full force. I on the other hand am a little more cautious and will for go my daily lunch time walk and relax at my desk with a book.