MEDFORD, Oklahoma - Residents of Medford are leaving town after officials call for voluntary evacuations due to a gas leak at a ONEOk natural gas facility south of town.

Medford businesses closed early Thursday, and there is no school scheduled for Friday. The population of Medford is steadily decreasing.

It is one leak at ONEOk that is causing many people in Medford to pack up and hit the road.

County and city governments issued a voluntary evacuation starting at 3 p.m. Thursday out of an abundance of caution. The evacuations are producing mixed reactions in Medford.

City officials tell News 9 it could take four to 12 days for ONEOk to solve its problem. Mandatory evacuations are not out of the question for the future. The city says most evacuees are staying with family and friends.

A shelter has been established in nearby Wakita by the American Red Cross. As of late Thursday, two people were making use of the shelter.

ONEOk insists that evacuations are unnecessary in Medford, but city leaders say they would rather be safe. More meetings between ONEOk and government leaders are expected on Monday.