Natural gas leaking from a Williams storage cavern in Eminence, MS, caused the evacuation of some area residents, the company said, but gas supplies were not disrupted.

Williams said the leak was discovered Monday night after a drop in pressure was seen in one of the storage caverns at the Eminence facility. The cause of the leak was unknown, according to Williams, which said the gas was leaking into a water well on its property.

The salt dome facility consists of seven caverns and serves Williams' Transco pipeline.

The company said it began a controlled venting of gas Tuesday afternoon to relieve pressure in the cavern. "This is an additional safety step we are taking," Williams said in a statement. "The venting will be through piping at the compressor station designed specifically for this type of situation. During this process we will be in control of the rate at which gas is vented."

Williams said the venting could take as long as two to three days. "We'll know more once we start and can establish a flow rate," the company said Tuesday afternoon.

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