Natural gas service being restored to damaged houses
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Six months to the day after the gas in her home was turned off because of mine subsidence in Pleasant Hills, Debbie Tobias got good news.
"We got gas today," she said last Thursday, a day that her family marked with hot water in their Toura Drive home for the first time since January.
Two other houses had their gas restored that day. Equitable Gas is in the process this week of turning on natural gas to the remaining six houses that haven't had gas since Jan. 20, company spokeswoman Pat Kornick said.
Ms. Kornick said the company was doing final inspections of houses on Toura and Tel Star drives, where some houses and sidewalks cracked and shifted because of the subsidence.
"In one home, we are waiting for the propane company to convert them back to natural gas," she said.
The mine subsidence damaged the gas line and about seven houses. The Tobias' house didn't show any signs of damage, Mrs. Tobias said, but it was one of 18 houses that had their gas shut off by Equitable on Jan. 20.
In February, Equitable restored gas to eight houses by installing a temporary flexible line. One later switched to electricity.
In April, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining finished a project in which 600 yards of grout and fly ash were pumped into the ground under the houses.
Even after the federal government finished the work, the gas company wouldn't restore service because of concern that the ground would continue to shift.
In the past month, the gas company installed a new main gas line.
Ms. Kornick said the gas company had done a series of inspections, both structural inspections to the houses and safety checks of the lines, before proceeding to turn the gas back on.
"We are very pleased" that gas is being restored," she said. "We know it has been extremely frustrating."
First Published July 27, 2006 12:00 am