Updated (2:30 p.m.):
Columbia Gas is in the process of restoring service to customers.
Customers who do not have service are asked to turn on porch lights. It will be the quickest way for crews to determine who needs help as they drive through affected neighborhoods.
If customers are not home, they are asked to make arrangement with next door neighbor or friends who can let Columbia Gas inside the home to complete the safety checks necessary for service restoration. Residents can also leave contact information taped to front doors.
The restoration process will be hampered without access to homes. If a Columbia gas employee comes to a home and no one answers the door, an information doorknob tag will be left on the door instructing residents on who to call to have the safety check completed and service restored.
Crews plan to work throughout the afternoon and into the evening restoring service.
Columbia Gas expects to begin going door-to-door to restore service between 1:30 and 2 p.m., according to Doug Dever, a spokesman with the Lorain County Emergency Management Agency.
Crews are currently purging air from the service lines, and once this is complete, they will begin restoring service.
At this time, it is unknown how long it will take to restore service to all customers. Some customers will see their service restored early this afternoon, Dever said, while other customers might not see service restored until tonight.
“Crews will work into the night as needed,” Dever said.
Customers need to be at the residence for service to be restored. People who leave their homes should leave contact information on the door so that repair crews can contact them.
Anyone with special needs should contact Columbia Gas at 800-344-4077.
Shelters are currently set up at:
- St. Mary’s Church, 320 Middle Ave., Elyria — 2 people at site
- General Johnnie Wilson Middle School, 2700 Washington Ave., Lorain — 1 person at site
- North Eaton Christian Church, 35896 Royalton, Eaton Twp. — 0 people at site
- Ruby’s Hall, 36709 Royalton, Eaton Twp. — 0 people at site
- Ross Environmental Services, 150 Innovation Drive, Elyria — 0 people at site
Update (8:30 a.m.):
Repairs are expected to take several more hours. Columbia Gas crews are working in two-man teams, in marked vehicles, and have photo identification. They will be going door-to-door to re-light service once repairs are completed.
Warming shelters are open at St. Mary’s Hall, 320 Middle Ave., Elyria, and North Eaton Christian Church, 35895 Royalton Road, Grafton.
Residents who go to a shelter or another location should leave contact information on their door so repair crews can contact them.
Some 2,200 Columbia Gas customers were without heat early this morning in subzero temperatures.
At midnight, the temperature was minus 11 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The outages, called in about 9 p.m., affected customers in Eaton Township, Elyria and North Ridgeville, according to Doug Dever, a spokesman with the Lorain County Emergency Management Agency, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security.
Dever said the outage was primarily west of Root Road in North Ridgeville south of Chestnut Ridge and Sugar Ridge roads. The affected areas of Elyria were in the southeast in the Chestnut Commons neighborhood.
Dever advised residents without gas to run their pipes at a trickle to avoid pipes freezing and bursting. Affected residents can go to an emergency shelter opened Monday in Elyria at St. Mary Parish, 320 Middle Ave.
Ray Frank, a Columbia Gas Co., spokesman, said deliveries from pipeline suppliers were disrupted causing the outage. He said crews from around Ohio and surrounding states were working Monday night and early today to restore service.
In order to restore service, crews will need to make two visits to each affected structure. Overnight, crews were going door-to-door to turn off service at each meter. Once repairs are complete, crews will need to go back to each structure to turn service on and perform a safety inspection.
Residents who go to a shelter or stay at another location should leave contact information on the door so that repair crews can contact them once they are in the area.
Columbia is working with the agency and the American Red Cross Lorain County Chapter to help people without heat. Anyone with special medical needs is asked to call Columbia at (800) 344-4077.