Sunday, August 25, 2019 Elyria 73°

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Less than 100 customers still without gas; Columbia trying to connect with stragglers

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An estimated 75-80 Columbia Gas customers in Elyria are still without gas service following an emergency shutoff Thursday.

Most customers had their gas service restored over the weekend, but a Columbia Gas employee had to be let in by residents or property owners to reconnect gas service. Columbia spokesman Bill Loomer said some customers had been unreachable throughout the weekend, and there’s a full team trying to reach the remaining customers.

“We’re hoping that number will drop throughout the day,” he said.

Gas service to more than 2,500 customers in the city’s Eastern Heights neighborhood was abruptly shut off Thursday as a precaution after an influx of air into the system. The shutoff also led to the cancellation of classes in Elyria schools.

City and county officials opened an overnight shelter, first at East Recreation Center and then at Eastern Heights Middle School. But the gas company also offered to reimburse customers for reasonable food and lodging expenses while gas was shut off , so the emergency center and shelter were taken offline around 9 a.m. Saturday, said Tom Kelley, the county emergency management and homeland security director.

“We thought on our end, things went pretty well,” he said.

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