Tipton gas leak puts residents on high alert for three hours

TIPTON, Iowa-- Around 7 a.m the smell of anhydrous ammonia lingered in the air near the Cedar County Co-op.

"If you're out too long you"ll get like the burning in the nose and stuff," says Jodi Byrd, Tipton resident.

On the morning of September 1st, Bryd and other Tipton residents got a message from the Cedar County Health Department...stay indoors and turn off all air conditioner and heat units.

Fire crews arrived to the Cedar County Co-op to deal with an anhydrous ammonia gas leak. A valve from the co-op tank had malfunctioned.

For three hours about a mile down the road on 7th street  was closed. The high school nearby and businesses were put on high alert.

Bryd runs a home daycare just down the road from where the leak occurred. But as soon as the city heard the report they immediately notified her.

“I wasn’t too concerned because the city and them had been really good about being on top of everything," says Byrd.

Byrd took precaution and headed indoors and stayed in until it was safe to come back out.

Emergency crews monitored the leak for about three hours.

"It gets into the air and into the atmosphere quickly it binds with water molecules breaks it down and dissipates," says Tipton Fire Chief Scott Donohoe.

Residents were given the all clear around 10 a.m. Emergency crews went back to the scene later the same day to make sure there was no lingering gas and ensure the building was safe to work in.