Chattanooga firefighters responded to a report of a gas leak around 8 a.m. on Friday at City Hall.
Employees inside City Hall reported smelling a chemical odor and called 911. Upon arrival, Battalion Chief Ashley May ordered the evacuation of city hall as a precaution.
After a brief investigation, it was determined that a subcontractor for the city's stormwater division had been spraying styrene to line the stormwater pipes underground.
The resulting fumes spread through the pipes and into some openings for the pipes underneath City Hall.
Chief May said that while the styrene the workers used can produce very noticeable fumes, it is non-toxic and does not present a danger to the public. No injuries were reported.
The City of Chattanooga has decided to close City Hall for the remainder of the day out of an abundance of caution for its employees and any visitors. The building will reopen on Monday with regular business hours.
11th Street is blocked from King Street to Houston Street and from Houston Street to Lindsey Street while crews from Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant (MBWWTP) run water through and vent the sewer lines to clear any off-gassing from the CIPP process.
11th Street is expected to reopen fully by 4 p.m. on Friday. The issue is isolated to city hall and does not affect surrounding businesses or residences.
Anyone needing to pay their sewer bills can do so through 311 via phone at (423) 643-6311.