Still no gas service for many in Hamilton Heights

August 15, 2011 2:12:43 PM PDT
Thousands of people are still without gas in upper Manhattan.

Part of the reason for the slow return: crews have to go door to door to make sure it's safe to turn the gas back on. The gas went out after a water main break on Friday.

A 12-inch water main underneath St. Nicholas Avenue near 152nd Street broke Friday afternoon, releasing more than 14-thousand gallons of water.

The water then seeped into the gas main.

To make repairs, Con Ed has to shut off the gas. It's still that way. The utility says roughly 82-hundred customers in Hamilton Heights are without gas.

Renee is one of them, but luckily her husband quickly had a back-up plan.

"He cooked on Saturday, so we're not having problems with that - eating leftovers, heating up in the toaster oven," Smith said.

But the ovens are off and doors are closed at several popular restaurants here. Devins and Texas Star would normally be packed but with no gas there's little they can do.

Con Ed crews are replacing the old water main that dates back to 1956 with new pipes, as other teams of workers tackle the tedious process of checking each individual apartment, not just buildings, before they can reintroduce gas back into the line.

It's time consuming. Since Friday only about 64 customers have had their gas turned back on and so backup crews have been called in from the outer boroughs, Orange and Rockland Counties.

Con Ed has been in touch with residents. Renee told me she got a call saying she may not have gas for another week.