ELYRIA — Hundreds of Columbia Gas workers and contract employees fanned out across the Eastern Heights neighborhood Friday to restore gas service to the more than 2,000 households and businesses that lost it Thursday night.
Columbia Gas blamed air in the gas lines for the shutoff, which was done out of caution about 4:45 p.m. Thursday. The total restoration of service could take up to 48 hours, the gas company said.
Areas affected by the gas service have been broken down into three zones — blue, yellow and pink. A map of the zones can be found at www.cityofelyria.org.
As of 11 p.m. Friday, approximately 509 customers in the “blue zone” had their service restored, Lorain County Emergency Management officials said in a media update.
Columbia Gas estimates customers in the “yellow zone” should be visited sometime today beginning at 7 a.m. as the purging is being completed in that area.
Residents in the “pink zone” should have service restored sometime today. No specific time was given.
Company spokesman Daniel Ball said more updates will be issued today.
Anyone requiring shelter from the cold may go to Eastern Heights Middle School at 528 Garford Ave. Call (440) 284-0357 if you do not drive or have special needs.
When gas is 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. If residents must leave, Columbia Gas asks that you leave contact information on the door or with a neighbor.
Residents are warned against attempting to relight appliances by themselves. Columbia Gas workers will inspect and relight appliances after gas service has been restored, the company said.
“As a part of our relight process, we will safely restore service to all furnaces and water heaters. This will not be the customers’ responsibility,” Columbia Gas wrote in response to a question on Twitter.
Additionally, anyone who sought shelter at a hotel or meals due to the gas shutoff may request reimbursement if they have receipts to prove expenses. For hotel and overnight lodging information, email ohlodging@ nisource.com, and for expenses, call (800) 915-9161.
The American Red Cross also has an agreement to house pets at Friendship Animal Protective League. Requests must go through the Red Cross at (440) 324-2929.
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