Clairton City School District Cancels Tuesday ClassesBy Amy Wadas

CLAIRTON (KDKA) — Columbia Gas workers went door-to-door Monday night, shutting off gas service in Clairton after a drop in pressure on a natural gas distribution line earlier in the day.

The company says as a result of that drop, which happened at 11:30 a.m., it needed to temporarily interrupt service to make sure the system is both safe and functioning properly.

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The outage is affecting some 1,200 customers, who live south of the Montour Trail. The Clairton City School District has also canceled classes for Tuesday.

Many customers were taken by surprise when their gas service was cut off.

“I was preparing to cook dinner for me and my daughters, and no gas,” frustrated Clairton resident Giovanni Lewis said. “No alert, no notification or anything.” Thankfully, I have leftovers. Some spaghetti from last night, warmed that up.”

“It was ridiculous. You’re right in the middle of cooking and the gas just went off. And you’re looking around to see what’s going on,” Evette Sales, another Clairton resident, said.

Seventy-eight company technicians are working throughout the community.

“We’re trying to notify everyone as quickly as possible. Some of the issue was we didn’t know what customers were affected until we got out here and started investigating the issue,” Sarah Barczyk, of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, said.

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Columbia Gas hopes to restore service throughout the day Tuesday. But needs residents to be at home in order to do so.

“If the meter is outside, they can shut off the gas without residents being home, but in order to re-light tomorrow, they will need access to the home to make sure those pilot lights are lit and everything is safe,” Barczyk said.

If you aren’t home during re-lighting Tuesday, a hanger will be left on your door, asking you to call Columbia Gas at 1-888-460-4332. Officials plan on having crews out first thing in the morning to get service turned back on.

Meanwhile, a command center has been set up in the gym at the Clairton Education Center. The facility houses grades K-12.

Three warming centers have also been set up throughout the area:

  • Elizabeth Borough Fire Station 139 in the bingo hall on Second Ave.
  • Floreffe Fire Hall off of Route 837 on West Elizabeth Ave.
  • Glassport Station 1 located at 525 Allegheny Ave. in the upstairs area

“Luckily, it’s not that cold out tonight, but I have a couple space heaters and heated blankets,” Lindsay Tucker, another resident said. “It would’ve been nice if they informed people. I had no clue. I wasn’t home, but a note on the door would’ve sufficed.”

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