Dozens of Buffalo homes go without gas, heat

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Dozens of homes in Buffalo are still without gas, heat and water and have been for more than 24 hours.

National Fuel officials say this week’s rain and melting snow caused water to seep into the underground gas lines, forcing them to shut off natural gas to nearly 100 customers between Broadway and Sycamore on streets like Woltz, Mills and Stanislaus.

Spokeswoman Karen Merkel said, “It’s a very extensive process when we have water in the mains. We have to be sure we remove all of the water before we reintroduce natural gas into the lines.”

The problem was discovered around 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Karen Ellington, who lives on Woltz Street, said, “My tenants called me and said, ‘There’s something wrong; we have no gas.’ I said, ‘What do you mean you have no gas?’”

It was over 20 hours later that Ellington’s gas space heater was turned back on.

“The bottom line is they should’ve contacted us as residents of Buffalo. It should’ve been some sort of robo-calling. It was nothing,” she said.

Merkel says getting the gas back on was their focus.

“To them we apologize and our main priority is to get them back in service,” she said.

National Fuel brought elderly customers like Florence Davis electric heaters to use.

“There’s no hot water, I couldn’t cook, my son brought me over dinner. I couldn’t go to work, I had to stay here confined in the house because I didn’t know when they was coming,” Davis said.

Even the Burger King on Broadway couldn’t open until the afternoon on Friday. Their grills were running on portable gas tanks brought in by trailer.

Clayton Hartling contracts for National Fuel.

“The weather fluctuating has really caused havoc,” he said. “It’s been quite a horrendous [winter]. There’s been dozens of water main breaks all throughout the county, basically because of the ground shifting.”

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