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City: ‘Breakdown in communication’ held up gas leak fix

Posted at 12:45 AM, Apr 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-01 00:45:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- The City of Richmond says a "breakdown in communication" was the reason that the 2400 block of Burton Ave and the Church Hill House, a senior facility, did not get their gas back on following a Saturday night leak for nearly 24 hours.

"We're disabled seniors so it is really hard," Ray Jones, a resident at the Church Hill House, said. "We shouldn't have to suffer on this Easter holiday."

Because the gas was off, residents did not have heat nor could they take a hot shower.

Residents expressed concern to CBS 6 that because it was a holiday, they did not get a proper response from the city.

After CBS 6 contacted the city, additional crews arrived on the scene to help turn gas back on for nearby residences.

The following statement was released by Rhonda Johnson, a spokesman with the City of Richmond Public Works Department.

The City of Richmond's Department of Public Utilities commercial gas technician crew arrived on the scene at Church Hill House at 2400 Burton St in Richmond, Va today at approximately 3:30pm to repair an inoperable gas meter. This same property was affected by an interruption in gas service last night due to a gas line break while a contractor was repairing a water main. While the crew on scene last night was able to repair the gas line they were unable to repair the gas meter at this property. The commercial crew called on site today determined there was a leak on top of the turn off valve of the water meter and that bolts on the meter had been tampered with. Repairs were made and gas service was restored at approximately 5:30pm. At this time we are unsure what happened to the gas meter.

Unfortunately, a breakdown in communication caused the delay in the commercial crew's response to repair the gas meter. We are looking into this issue and working on procedures to ensure it is corrected.

Residents are reminded to call 646-7000 24 hours s day, seven days a week to report any issues with Richmond DPU utilities.