DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – No gas service for three weeks. That could be the reality for thousands of Dallas residents. It’s all part of Atmos Energy’s ongoing efforts to repair and replace lines a neighborhood where a girl was killed when her house exploded.
The knocks on the door have come at all hours, the message – either a mandatory evacuation or a prolonged gas outage.
The latter has now spread to nearly 3,000 homes, all near the house where 12-year-old Linda Rogers died last Friday.
“I grabbed clothes for work and other clothes. I left my cats because I didn’t know what to do with them,” says neighbor Jackie Smith, whose home in now without gas.
The outage ranges from Walnut Hill south to Northwest Highway and Webb Chapel Road east to Lakemont Drive and officials say it could last up to 3 weeks.
Atmos says they’ll replace the entire system out of an abundance of caution – and crews will work around the clock until it’s done.
“We will replace all those lines, all those meters, make all the necessary repairs within our customers’ homes at our charge, and we’ll do that as quickly as possible,” says John Paris, President of Atmos Energy’s Mid-Tex Division.
Atmos says the extraordinary amount of rain and geological shifts lead to leaks in the system. The old steel pipes will be replaced with state-of-the-art PVC pipe.
In the meantime, residents have a choice – stay in their homes without gas or leave. Some say Atmos offered them $1,200 regardless of their decision. But getting information, they say, has been nearly impossible.
“I just need a little bit more information,” says resident Leslie Earl. “They give you a phone number, and the phone number says, ‘We don’t have any information, go to the website.’ You go to website, and there’s absolutely no information there. It’s just a little bit frustrating.”
Both will remain open 24 hours a day.