CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As of Sunday morning, around 600 customers on Charleston’s West Side have had their natural gas services fixed, according to a release from the office of Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin.
On Nov. 10, 46 miles of gas line was flooded after a water main break on Charleston’s West Side, Mountaineer Gas spokesperson and Sr. Vice President Moses Skaff previously said. Customers on Charleston’s West Side were without both gas and water, but water services were restored shortly after.
Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency on Wednesday due to the gas outage.
The crisis caused Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School — which is only a few blocks away from the scene — to close for a week, only opening back up on Friday.
In addition to those who have since had their gas restored, the release said that around 200 customers are ready for inspection and reconnection, which will need to be done by a Mountaineer Gas Company representative. If you are not home, they will leave a note on your door to set up an appointment.
A Mountaineer Gas release from Saturday said that “majority system restoration” should be expected within five to six days.
Mayor Goodwin said that 51 crews from Mountaineer Gas will continue to work over the weekend, along with community groups helping to provide aid during the outage.
“If you, or someone you know, needs assistance through the weekend, please call United Way at 304.340.3500 or 211,” Mayor Goodwin said in a Saturday release.
Safety is a priority for many affected families, especially those without heat.
Some residents are already geared up for the cold and are using electric blankets or electric space heaters to warm up at night. Though with the gas outage to last over a week, the Charleston Fire Department and others are hoping to assist affected families.
Officials said it’s important to keep the heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, and that also means not letting anyone get too close to the heater, especially children.
Fire officials said to only use heaters that have been tested and proven safe, and only buy heaters with an overheat protection system and a thermostat. They also said to look for heaters that have an automatic shut-off in case it tips over.
To not overheat the heaters, they encourage residents to plug it directly into the wall and place it on a flat and stable surface that doesn’t block exits. To avoid fires, space heaters should be shut off and unplugged if anyone leaves the house or goes to sleep.
You can find a list of places to get food, water, toiletries and more by clicking here. Anyone still experiencing water outages should call 1-800-685-8660.
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