1,200 remain without gas service in Discovery Bay

DISCOVERY BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- In Discovery Bay, over a thousand customers had to brave another cold night without natural gas to heat their homes, take a warm shower, or cook.

By Monday night, PG&E was able to restore gas service to 4,700 customers, but 1,200 remained without gas service. That's because PG&E said if residents were not home, they couldn't gain access inside the home to light the pilot lights.

The snowman on the front door of the Nguyen family house is no exaggeration. With no gas heat inside for two days it was very chilly as temperatures dipped down to 36 degrees outside. Space heaters inside their home were working overtime.

Huy Nguyen said, "I'm wearing some of my ski clothes just to keep warm."

Huy's wife, Kelly, said, "We're so used to heat that you don't think of it until something like this happens and then it really makes you wonder."

The Nguyen's and some 6,200 other PG&E customers lost natural gas service during the day on Sunday. PG&E is investigating the cause of the outage after a regulator at a gas facility malfunctioned.

Local restaurants like Matsuyama Sushi were very busy Monday night with folks who just wanted to get out of the house on a very cold night.

Discovery Bay resident Janet explained the difficulties. She said it is "crazy cold. Can't make coffee, can't do anything, can't take a shower."

A warming center was set up by the Red Cross at Timber Point Elementary School, but many people chose to tough it out at home, putting fireplaces to good use.
VIDEO: Thousands in Discovery Bay without gas for another night

However, some of the other comforts of home were not available. There was no hot water to do the dishes, cook a meal, or take a shower.

More than 200 PG&E crews worked Monday going door-to-door to re-light pilot lights. Those who were not home and are still without gas can call PG&E to make an appointment to get it back on.

Luckily, during our visit, PG&E showed up at the Nguyen's house to restore service so they could have heat for the cold night ahead.

PG&E says make sure your fireplace flue is open if you're going to use it and dress warmly in layers.

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.
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