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Thousands in Discovery Bay without gas for another night

There is no gas and no heat for thousands of eastern Contra Costa County residents for the second day in a row. This is more than just an inconvenience due to the cold temperatures hitting the Bay Area.

PG&E says they have restored gas service to some 2,800 customers. PG&E crews are going door-to-door, having to restore people's pilot lights and check their furnaces. However, a big problem is many people were not home on Monday, so PG&E could not get access to their homes and those customers will have to face another cold night.


Customers are left with cold water for washing dishes and no gas stove to cook a warm meal.
VIDEO UPDATE: 1,200 remain without gas service in Discovery Bay

Discovery Bay resident Lisa Baltrons saw the bright side before putting two and two together. Thinking her oven was broken, she said, "I was really excited yesterday thinking I was going to get a new range, but bummer [the problem] was no gas."

Baltrons and some 6,200 other PG&E customers in the Discovery Bay area lost natural gas service on Sunday.

Crews replaced equipment at a regulator station on Monday, but have not identified an exact cause of the outage.

Lisa and her husband Mauricio Baltrons visited the Red Cross shelter at Timber Point Elementary for an update on when service might be restored.

"It gets cold pretty quick. We all slept in one room and closed the doors and kept ourselves warm and a lot of blankets," Mauricio said.

More than 200 PG&E crews are going door-to-door to ignite pilot lights and check gas appliances in homes.

PG&E spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian said, "We need access to the homes. So if at all possible, we encourage people to try and stay home if they can."

Mauricio stayed home from work to wait for PG&E. He may inquire about how this outage will affect his bill.

"We do have a claims department so if there are any concerns, we can encourage people to call PG&E," Sarkissian said.

PG&E is not saying when the utility expects to have natural gas service fully restored.

PG&E has some tips for people without gas, like a barbecue, charcoal, or propane heater. Make sure your fireplace flue is open. And dress warmly in layers. Some residents heard the possibility of service being restored by Monday night, but a PG&E spokesperson says there is no estimated time.

The utility company released the following statement to its customers:

For our customers in Discovery Bay

Due to a recent cold snap in our service area, we are experiencing a service disruption in the gas facilities that serve customers in Discovery Bay. In order to make the needed repairs as quickly and safely as possible, we need to temporarily suspend gas service to some customers in the Discovery Bay area. We are working to restore gas service safely and as quickly as possible to restore service to our customers, but we expect the outage to last through Sunday night.
Actions we are taking
We have opened up a warming center at Timber Point elementary school, at 40 Newberry Lane in Discovery Bay, offering residents meals and a warm place to rest. We will continue to update... with other warming center locations, as they become available. PG&E gas service representatives will be going door to door in some locations, asking customers for access to their property to conduct pilot light tests. These tests should be brief and we appreciate our customers assistance in helping us perform these tests.

Important gas safety information
  • If you smell gas, Get everyone outside immediately to a location where you can no longer smell natural gas

  • Do not use electrical switches, appliances or telephones because sparks can ignite gas.

  • Do not check for a gas leak with a match or an open flame

  • Call 911 immediately, then call P&GE at 1-800-743-5002

  • If you are able to do so safely, shut off the gas at the main service valve

  • If you shut off the gas, do not attempt to turn it back on yourself, contact PG&E to perform a safety inspection before gas service is restored and appliance pilots are relit

  • To report a gas outage, please call 1-800-743-5002 and let us know if you'd like to receive restoration updates by text or automated call

Additional Information

What Happens When There's a Natural Gas Outage
Gas outages can occur at any time. There are a number of causes, such as a natural disaster or a pressure regulator failure. When a gas outage occurs, the affected area must be isolated. This requires a PG&E employee to close off the main gas shut-off valve.
Watch Interactive Video here

Natural Gas - A Key Energy Source
There are more than 1.5 million miles of transmission pipelines and distribution systems in the United States to provide natural gas to the millions of people who rely on it. PG&E's natural gas system spans 70,000 square miles and serves one out of every 20 residents of the United States.
Learn More here

Natural Gas Safety Tips
Gas safety is important, and being prepared can you help avoid dangerous situations. Find out what to do if you suspect a gas leak, how to detect carbon monoxide, how to turn off your gas in an emergency, and other valuable advice.
Stay Safe click here for tips

Bay City news contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
weathercoldfreezehomeshelterPG&Eenergygas mainDiscovery Bay
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