1,000+ Households Affected In Ocean Parkway Gas Crisis, National Grid Says Service To Be Restored Friday

Photo by PayPaul

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: A National Grid representative said the company was forced to cut gas to 1,100 Gravesend clients this week, after a leaking water main interfered with their gas lines and caused a drop in pressure.

Gas is cut along the areas marked in red. (Map courtesy of Google Maps)

The spokesperson said they are hoping to restore all service by Friday, and gas is already flowing in some areas. Sheepshead Bites is the first and only news outlet covering the problem, which is affecting a population the size of a small town.

The incident is not related to any gas leak and there is no danger for residents, the representative noted, but service to 1,100 households on an approximately half-mile strip of Ocean Parkway means they’ve had to deploy 300 crews working around the clock for a speedy restoration.

“We want to do this safely and as quickly as possible and we appreciate the coordination of the customers in that area,” said spokesperson Karen Young.

Young noted that the work is a very labor intensive project. First, workers had to go door-to-door to ensure gas service is safely off in each home. Once they identified the source of the leak, which they’ve done, it must be repaired. Then the water must be pumped out of the gas lines. Finally, workers need to go door-to-door again to relight appliances in the homes.

“We’ve made some progress. We are breaking this down into areas for the work, and so we have restored gas service to about 233 customers,” Young said. “We know it’s a big project and a big job.”

The geographic boundaries of the affected area are Ocean Parkway from Avenue U to Brighton Court (near Avenue Z), and on Gravesend Neck Road from Ocean Parkway to East 2nd Street. National Grid first became aware of the problem on Tuesday morning.

The crews will continue to work around the clock, which means late-night construction noise that could disturb residents.

“We apologize that the work may be noisy, but it’s necessary during this emergency situation so that we can get the service back on as quickly as possible,” Young said, adding that doing the work in sections means crews will not be working in one place for an extended period of time.

UPDATE (6:40 p.m.): Hours after we published the story above, National Grid has issued a press release. I’ve pasted it below.

Safe, Efficient Service Restoration is Top Priority; Hundreds Deployed to Affected Area to Speed Process
April 18, 2012 – On Tuesday, April 17, a 30-inch high-pressure water main leaked in the neighborhood of Gravesend, Brooklyn, resulting in water intrusion of a 12-inch low-pressure National Grid gas main supplying that area.
More than 300 National Grid crews are working tirelessly around-the-clock to complete an assessment of damage to the natural gas delivery system and restore service to affected customers as soon as possible.
Based on our early assessment, the impacted area includes approximately 1,100 National Grid gas customers in the area along Ocean Parkway between Ave. U and Ave. Z.
National Grid took immediate steps to isolate the effected area and is in the process of pumping water out of the gas main, which must be done before progressing to checking and then reactivating gas service to individual customers. More than 5,300 gallons of water has already been extracted. Some portions of the main are being brought back into service and we already restored 230 customers.
At this time we are targeting to have all customers restored by Friday. We are reaching out to the customers in the affected areas directly, and have notified appropriate city authorities, including police, fire and transportation.
National Grid appreciates our customers’ cooperation. This is a labor-intensive process and crews will need to go door-to-door to re-light appliances.