Friday, December 14, 2018 Elyria 41°
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130 Elyria residents have gas services restored, repairs, testing continue through Saturday(UPDATED, VIDEO)

  • Columbia-gas-3-p-m-updte

    Gas has been restored to some residents in the blue region.

    PROVIDED IMAGE

  • Capture-PNG-24

    Gas crews gather for a safety briefing at Concord and Eastern Heights. The technicians are working on purging the lines so that gas service can be restored to some 2,500 households, which have been out heat since Thursday afternoon. Around 240 technicians from Columbia Gas and other gas companies are working on the problem.

    BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

  • Big-lots-jpg

    Work trucks assemble in the parking lot of the former Big Lots at the corner of Broad Street and Abbe Road in Elyria on Friday.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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    This map shows the progress of restoring gas service throughout Elyria. Work started in the blue zone, and as of 11 a.m., about 60 people have had their gas reinstalled. in the pink zone, the gas lines are being purged, the final step before relighting gas lines. Excavation in the yellow zone has yet to start.

    PROVIDED BY COLUMBIA GAS

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    Crews continue working in Eastern Heights area in Elyria, where gas service was shut off Thursday afternoon. The outage may continue through Saturday as Columbia Gas works to purge and inspect gas lines and restore service to some 2,500 homes.

    BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

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    A line of utility vehicles form on Park Avenue in Elyria on Friday.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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Columbia-gas-3-p-m-updte

Gas has been restored to some residents in the blue region.

PROVIDED IMAGE Enlarge

3 p.m. UPDATE: About 130 households in east of University Hospitals Medical Center in Elyria’s Eastern Heights neighborhood has had service restored, according to an update from the county Emergency Management office

Columbia has has hundreds of employees working in the area to purge air from the lines and restore service. Columbia gas estimates work in the blue zone will be complete by 5:30 p.m.

Excavation work is currently being conducted in the yellow zone, with purging and relighting to begin after 7 p.m.

Residents in the pink zone should expect relighting work to begin Saturday.

Gas crews will need to enter each home to inspect the lines and relight appliances.  All employees carry photo ID. If you plan to leave home in areas in which work is being done, Columbia Gas asks that you leave contact information at your home or with a neighbor.

Columbia Gas is offering lodging to residents affected by the service interruption. Contact (800) 915-9161 or email ohlodging@nisource.com

A shelter is open at Eastern Heights Middle School, 528 Garford Ave. Call (440) 284-0357 if you do not drive or have special needs.

What else you need to know now
(Additional details in this and related coverage)

  • There’s a process: Crews dig to get to lines, purge air, then test and relight in homes.
  • Service is being restored as those repairs are verified.
  • A shelter is open at Eastern Heights Middle School.
  • Reimbursement is being offered for hotel and meal expenses w/receipts.
  • Shutoff was precautionary when air found in gas system.
  • 240 Columbia Gas techs from around the state are working on problem
  • The American Red Cross has an agreement to house pets at Friendship APL, if necessary. Requests must go through the Red Cross.

 

2:30 p.m. UPDATE: The number of gas company employees on the ground working to restore power has doubled.

12 p.m. UPDATE: Some Elyria residents affected by the emergency gas shutoff may not have service restored until tomorrow, officials said.

07-1200-11-30-Update-1-jpg

This map shows the progress of restoring gas service throughout Elyria. Work started in the blue zone, and as of 11 a.m., about 60 people have had their gas reinstalled. in the pink zone, the gas lines are being purged, the final step before relighting gas lines. Excavation in the yellow zone has yet to start.

PROVIDED BY COLUMBIA GAS Enlarge

Columbia Gas has more than 240 personnel working to restore service, and has divided the affected area into three zones by color: Blue, pink and yellow. The number of workers is now double what officials initially estimated, with some coming from as far away as Toledo. 

Backhoes and excavators, accompanied by white Columbia Gas vans, were parked up and down Park Avenue this morning and early afternoon, digging holes and working on the gas lines. 

As of 11 a.m., about 60 customers in the blue zone, between Abbe Road and Prospect Street, have had service restored, and it’s estimated that purging — the last step before starting gas service — of that area will be complete by 1 p.m. In the pink zone, between Prospect and Park Avenue, excavation is underway, and will be followed by purging. In the yellow zone, between Park and the Black River, excavation has yet to start.

Big-lots-jpg

Work trucks assemble in the parking lot of the former Big Lots at the corner of Broad Street and Abbe Road in Elyria on Friday.

BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE Enlarge

According to a news release from the city, gas service may not be restored to the pink area until Saturday, and Columbia Gas is telling people in that area to possibly find additional housing arrangements throughout the area. Columbia Gas said it will reimburse residents for reasonable hotel or meal expenses incurred by the outage, with receipts.

When gas has been reconnected, Columbia Gas crews will have to enter each home to perform a safety inspection. All Columbia Gas employees carry a photo ID and will show it upon request. An adult must be present for Columbia Gas workers to enter the home, and if you have to leave, the gas company asks that you leave contact information on the door or with a neighbor.

 

9 a.m. UPDATE: Service could be restored this morning to the first of the 2,500 Columbia Gas customers whose gas was shut off yesterday because of a construction problem.

According to a news release from the Lorain County Emergency Management Office, Columbia Gas personnel have begun purging air from the gas lines, starting in the area of Broad Street and Longson Avenue and moving west. As a result, some people in the vicinity may detect the odor of natural gas, which is normal in the process.

As the purge continues, gas will be restored. A county alert warns residents against trying to relight appliances. When gas has been restored, Columbia Gas workers will inspect and relight appliances.

Shelter continues to be available at Eastern Heights Middle School, but as of 8:30 a.m. today, it remains unoccupied.

University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center is offering lunch for those affected by the shutoff, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the hospital’s main cafeteria.

What about pets?

Greg Willey, executive director of the Friendship Animal Protective League said  that his agency works with the American Red Cross in these situations, so people wishing to house a pet should go through Red Cross and that agency will contact the APL.

“I’ve got to say, though, that more and more hotels are pet friendly now,” Willey said.

Willey said the APL hasn’t been approached by the Red Cross to house any pets that were displaced in this outage, “and the temperatures right now inside the homes are not low enough to make it dangerous to keep pets at there.”

A shelter, where there is limited space and pets could come into contact with ill animals, should be the “shelter of last resort,” Willey said. He suggested those who have veterinarians or have boarded their pets should contact those businesses first.

For hotel information, email ohlodging@nisource.com. For expenses, call (800) 915-9161.



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