DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Crews with Atmos Energy worked through the weekend trying to repair miles and miles of gas lines in northwest Dallas, and they continue to work around the clock on Monday. In the meantime, a system-wide shutdown remains in effect for thousands of residents.
Neighborhoods have started to look more like construction sites in an area between Walnut Hill Lane south to near Northwest Highway. Atmos Energy shut off service to about 2,800 homes on Thursday in order to repair underground pipelines. This all comes after an explosion at a home killed a child last month.
In an update on Monday morning, Atmos Energy stated that service has been restored to 140 homes that had previously been evacuated prior to Thursday. Atmos Energy has released an interactive map on the company’s website where customers can check the restoration status.
Still, some neighbors explained that they feel afraid in their own homes after last month’s explosion. “Coming home each day, seeing all the ground torn up, it looks like a disaster zone,” said resident Eddie Gonzalez. “Even when I do get piping repaired, I feel like I’ve lost trust in Atmos.”
Residents can also get updated information by going to the Bachman Recreation Center or the Walnut Hill Recreation Center, where compensation checks can be picked up as well. Since many customers are forced to stay in hotels while Atmos Energy is making repairs, the company is compensating residents with $250 per day for the inconvenience.
Stephanie Jung chose to stay in her home, and has relied on the interactive map for updates. She purchased new space heaters with her stipend. “You just have to show your ID or utility bill or something proving you live in an apartment or house affected and then you can either set up direct deposit or receive a check,” she explained. “It’s a fairly smooth process. The situation was unexpected, but they seem to have it worked out as best they can.”
“We recognize the frustration and disruption this situation has caused,” the company said in Monday morning’s update, “and are working diligently to restore service in this area.” Atmos Energy added that 120 construction crews have been working in multiple places.
The Dallas Police Department is patrolling the area to prevent against any looting.
Atmos Energy has also warned residents about scammers who might be posing as gas line workers. The company has advised homeowners to request to see the worker’s badge before allowing them access to your property, and know that no worker will ever ask for a key to your home during this time. Possible scammers should be reported to the authorities.