‘When will our village get its gas back?’

PUBLISHED: 14:42 15 September 2016

Villagers are wondering when they will next be able to cook and enjoy hot showers, as well over 1,000 homes have been left without gas since Sunday evening.

After the first complaints of falling pressurew at about 6pm, National Grid engineers started visiting homes in Welham Green to disconnect the supply.

By Tuesday morning, they had found the water leak into the mains that had caused the problem and pumped out the pipes, but the company can not say when the supply will return.

A spokesman explained the company must isolate the supply in about 1,500 homes individually, using warrants and locksmiths if necessary.

He said: “All the properties affected have been visited and gas switched off at the majority.

“Our engineers are currently visiting properties where they have been so far unable to get access to do this.

“Once this process has been complete we can start to get properties back on gas.”

“Once supplies have been restored we’ll investigate the cause of the incident.”

Brian O’Neill, 78, of Skimpans Close said: “There has been no cooking facilities and no hot water since Sunday afternoon, about six [pm}.

“It is not very good. I just want to know how long it will take.”

Nillesh Patel. 42, who lives above his shop, the Premier off-licence and store in Dellsome Lane, said: “I thought it was just a problem with our boiler, but as soon as I opened the shop I realised it was a big major problem, because everybody was talking about it.

“It is lucky it did not happen in December, because there is no heating.

“These guys [National Grid staff] are working hard, and trying to help people.”

Peter Wrighton, 74-year-old chairman of the Welham Green Residents’ Association, told the WHT he had been spreading word throughout the village.

He said: “One neighboour was about to order herself a new cooker online.”

Working with the borough council and housing associations, National Grid has delivered emergency heaters and cooking appliances to vulnerable customers.

It has also established an incident centre at North Mymms Bowls Club in Bushwood Close, where villagers can get information and advice.

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