What’s that smell? More than 120 callers report gas odor in eastern Sacramento County

Residents in eastern Sacramento County called Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District more than 120 times on Friday morning to report a lingering gas smell, but authorities walked away stumped as to the scent’s cause.

Calls began coming in about 8:30 a.m., Capt. Chris Vestal said, and didn’t end until 10. But no tests from the fire department or PG&E showed evidence of any flammable or hazardous gas in the 27-mile affected area between Elk Grove and Rescue.

Vestal said the smell was consistent with mercaptan, the chemical that gives natural gas its pungent odor. PG&E and fire department personnel scanned Mather Airport and nearby gas lines for leaks, though none were found.

“At this point we’re confident that there is no hazard, there’s no danger to the public (and) that the source is not in the area,” Vestal said.

Friday morning’s chilly temperatures and lack of wind kept the smell lingering in the morning air, Vestal said.

No classes were canceled as a result of the smell, though Folsom Cordova Unified School District heard its share of worry from parents.

Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services will send out an Everbridge alert with any updates to the situation, Vestal said. To sign up, visit the county website or call 211.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel