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November 6th, 2012:

Inspections Could Slow Restoration of Natural Gas Heat

American Energy Coalition - November 6th, 2012

Natural gas customers whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy might remain without heat until they can schedule an inspection by their local gas utility, according to a recent article in Newsday. 

The newspaper reported that National Grid, the gas utility serving Long Island, N.Y., shut off gas service to 16,000 homes on the island's South Shore. A utility spokesman said that customers need to get their equipment inspected by a qualified plumber to ensure it is ready to function safely. 

After completing that step, they also need to schedule a separate inspection with National Grid. A utility worker will relight the heating system only after conducting their own inspection, spokesman Karen Young told Newsday.

"Crews will go door-to-door to relight the appliances in the home," she said. "Customers need to be home for the work to be done and the completion will be based on customers' availability," she said.

Natural-gas customers in storm-stricken sections of New Jersey are also facing long waits to get their heat restored. A local news article stated that customers on Long Beach Island must wait for New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) to rebuild its gas mains and meters before they can complete work inside their homes to restore heat. The utility said it could be Dec. 1 before the homes are ready to receive gas.

A separate article in the Philadelphia Inquirer states that natural gas customers in Seaside Heights, N.J., could be without natural gas for six to eight months.

Utility officials will assess each section of gas pipeline, looking for damage that could include breaks and water intrusion. Only after that can they determine which parts can be salvaged. NJNG spokesman Micah Rasmussen said the job was so complex he couldn't guess when it would be finished. "That's not an answerable question right now," he said.

To read the Newsday article, click here.

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