Maryland

Some Laurel Residents Without Heat, Hot Water Going on 5 Days

Laurel officials say most residents should have heat and hot water again by Tuesday evening

As a number of Laurel, Maryland, residents continue to go without heat or hot water service for going on five days, the city says the problem should be resolved soon. 

Almost 300 Laurel residents have had their gas restored after a Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) outage left 400 people without hot water and heat starting last Thursday. 

The gas company hopes to fully restore service by Tuesday evening, Laurel spokeswoman Audrey Barnes said in an email. Some isolated cases could take a few more days to fix. 

The outage began Thursday night when a water main broke and flooded a network of gas pipes that serve several blocks.

The city opened a community center for two hours Sunday so residents could warm up and take hot showers. The center remains open to residents. 

"It is a little bit rough, but we've been managing," one resident told News4. "We've been having to go out and buy heaters. Electric heaters."

Space heaters have been cleared off the shelves in nearby stores, residents told News4. 

About 22 customers near 8th Street and Gorman Avenue had their service restored quickly, Laurel Mayor Craig Moe said in a statement. But 401 others had to wait days.

BGE said they restored gas for 44 customers Sunday night, and on Monday it made repairs to more than half of the damaged gas mains, which serve about half of the customers who were affected. As of Tuesday morning, 289 people had their gas service restored.

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Crews were forced to find the water main break, stop the flow of water and visit each customer to turn off their gas meters, BGE said. Gas lines packed with mud and debris needed to be cleaned or replaced entirely.

Some customers may be forced to replace their own pipes and appliances if they got waterlogged, BGE said. Residents would have to pay for their own plumbers. 

"Not too happy about that," one resident told News4. "My neighbor said something about that could be a class action suit." 

If you are in the area and smell gas, move to a safe location and call your utility company, BGE said.

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