The Hopewell Township Police say that Elizabethtown Gas officials have advised that most residents from Pennington Road who were evacuated earlier this morning may return to their homes at this time.

Residents may need to speak with an officer at road closure points and provide their address information for access. Four residences are not able to be reoccupied at this time for safety precautions. Police personnel have spoken to those homeowners.

Pennington Road (Route 31) remains closed at this time.

The evacuation was due to a gas leak that was detected earlier this morning, after residents and commuters reported a strong gas odor in the area. Elizabethtown Gas officials and local police have been on site to investigate the source of the leak and assess potential dangers.

(Hopewell Township Police Facebook photo.)

Motorists who use Route 31 should consider an alternate route. Drivers are being detoured from Route 31 South to Route 546 to I-295 at Scotch Road or from I-95 to the Scotch Road exit toward Capital Health Medical Center to Route 546 to Route 31.

The county will keep residents updated through its Swift911 emergency management notification system. Those seeking updates can register here.

Hopewell Police have noted on Facebook that the Hopewell Township Municipal Building lobby is open to the public until 4:30 p.m. today and can be used as a resource center to stay warm and charge electronics for residents who are affected by the evacuation.