Natural Gas Odor from East Central Iowa to Northeast Illinois

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Gas odor from Iowa to Illinois on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 (Map data ©2024 Google)
Gas odor from Durant, Iowa to Illinois on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 (Map data ©2024 Google).

Numerous reports of an outdoor natural gas odor were reported late Tuesday afternoon, January 2, 2023 in Cook County, Lake County and McHenry County. The first reports in Chicagoland began before 4:00 p.m. in McHenry County, including calls from Cary, Huntley, Crystal Lake, Lakewood, Marengo, McHenry, Union and Woodstock.

However, natural gas odor reports began earlier Tuesday (before 2:00 p.m.) in Ogle County. According to the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, there were at least 49 calls to 9-1-1 at the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office 9-1-1 Center. The odor was also reported in New Milford, and also in Fulton in Whiteside County near the Mississippi River, and Milledgeville in Carroll County north of Rock Falls and Sterling, Illinois.

According to the Vernon Hills Police Department, Nicor was aware of the issue and believes the odor is from a gas leak that originated from Iowa.

In Lake County, Illinois the gas odor was reported in Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Fox Lake, Grayslake, Gurnee, Lake Villa, Lindenhurst, Mundelein, North Chicago, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Vernon Hills, Volo, and Waukegan.

In southern Lake County, an outdoor gas odor was reported on Spring Creek Road just north of County Line Road near the intersection with Algonquin Road about 5:40 p.m., and on Crown Point Court in Buffalo Grove about 6:30 p.m.

In Cook County, the gas odor was reported near Bateman Road just south of County Line Road in Barrington about 5:45 p.m., and in Hoffman Estates on Red Oak Drive south of Interstate 90 at about 6:15 p.m.

Also in Cook County, an outdoor gas odor was reported in the block of 600 West Kenilworth Avenue in Palatine about 6:45 p.m. The caller also reported a hissing noise, but firefighters returned, reporting that they did not detect and gas odor at the address.


The source of the odor apparently originated in Cedar County, Iowa about 20 miles northwest of Davenport, Iowa and Moline, Illinois.

Winds at Davenport Municipal Airport were from the Southwest most of the day, around 12 to 15 MPH.

Winds at O’Hare International Airport were also from the Southwest, but were stronger — gusting to 25 to 29 MPH during much of the day.

Looking east toward the block of 100 5th Street (Historic US 6) in Durant, Iowa …

Looking at a dead end in the block of 100 4th Street in Durant, Iowa …

The Durant Fire Department in Cedar County, Iowa reported that firefighters were paged out about 8:51 a.m. Tuesday, January 2, 2023 to a report of a natural gas odor in the block of 100 5th street. Upon arriving on scene on 5th street firefighters learned they needed to investigate further south to pinpoint the source of the odor. The odor’s source was detected in the block of 100 4th Street.

Firefighters determined that was rinsing out what they thought was an LP tank (liquid propane tank). No liquid was discharged onto the ground, and everything was contained within the tank, according to the fire department. The fire department indicated the person rinsing the tank, stopped immediately, and shut off all the valves on the tank. The DNR (Department of Natural Resources) was contacted and informed of the situation. According to the Durant Fire Department, the DNR is involved with monitoring the air quality from the incident. The fire department indicated there was no threat, “just a bad smell lingering around.”

An important media release was also provided by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. Clinton County is located just northeast of Durant and Cedar County, Iowa.

Complaints of Natural Gas / LP Odor

On January 2, 2024, at approximately 10:32 A.M., the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and DeWitt Fire Department responded to several reports of a natural gas like smell in and around Hwy 61 and DeWitt. Law enforcement and fire personnel were able to detect a natural gas like odor; however, were not able to identify the source of the odor at the time of the calls. The natural gas like odor continued to drift east, towards the cities of Clinton, Camanche and Fulton (IL.. The Clinton Fire Department and Fulton Fire Department received several complaints regarding the natural gas like odor.

Upon further investigation, it is believed the natural gas like odor likely originated during the maintenance of equipment in Cedar County, IA. The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, DeWitt Fire Department, Clinton Fire Department, Clinton Police Department, Clinton County Emergency Management and Clinton County Communications are working together to follow-up on the complaints and odor. The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office has also been in contact with Alliant Energy, who also reported receiving several complaints regarding the odor. At this time, the natural gas like odor appears to have dissipated from the Clinton County area and local public safety officials believe there is no threat to the public.

Special Note: Any citizen who detects an odor of natural gas/LP in or around their property or residence, should not hesitate to call 911.

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