WHAT’S THAT SMELL? Source unknown for Monday night odor that disgusted LaPlace residents

Published 12:13 am Saturday, October 28, 2017

LAPLACE — The source of the unusual odor that concerned LaPlace residents Monday night has yet to be determined, but there is no cause for alarm at this time, St. John the Baptist Parish officials said.

Around 11 p.m. Monday, 911 notified the St. John Public Safety Department of incoming calls about an unusual smell in LaPlace, specifically near the Emergency Operations Center, Hemlock Street and the old Riverlands subdivision.

Candace Hoover woke up gagging around 12:40 a.m. Tuesday in her home off of West Fifth Street. After checking every room to make sure the smell wasn’t coming from inside her home, she discovered it was coming through the window above her bed.

“It was awful,” she said. “It smelled worse than when my gas stove doesn’t ignite right away.”

Hoover compared the odor to a natural gas scent. She said the smell continued to wake her up through the night until it settled down between 4:30 and 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Her daughter, who Hoover said is prone to migraines, woke up sick in the early morning hours.

The St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, Fire Department and Department of Public Safety conducted a thorough investigation alongside local gas service provider Atmos Energy.

Representatives from Atmos Energy surveyed the area using meters and did not find any indication of a natural gas leak, according to a St. John Parish press release.

The investigation is ongoing, and parish officials are in contact with local industries and the Port of South Louisiana. Officials said the smell might have come from the Mississippi River, noting cooler weather and light wind contribute to spreading odors.

As of late this week, Public Safety and Port officials have not determined the cause of the smell.