People living in neighborhoods near Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie tell NBC 5 they’ve been without heat for three days after Atmos Energy shut off their gas.
William Minix woke early Monday morning to a cold home and a tag on his door
notifying him his natural gas service had been shut off.
Minix relies on natural gas to heat his home.
For the last three days, he’s stayed huddled in his bed with his wife
using an electric heater to keep them warm.
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Problems for the neighborhood near Joe Pool Lake began Sunday, when homeowners began experiencing pressure issues with their natural gas.
Rochelle Woolridge said she first noticed her home getting cooler and
then they lost hot water, so she called Atmos Energy to report an issue.
Woolridge and Minix said Atmos Energy responded overnight and cut off the natural gas supply to their individual homes while they were asleep.
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“They said they would send someone out to check out the problem. They didn’t say they were going to turn it off,” said Woolridge. "It's like 38 degrees in our house."
Statewide Atmos Energy is urging people to conserve natural gas, asking people to turn down the thermostat, avoid hot showers and not use their gas fireplace as demand far exceeds supply.
Neighbors fear their natural gas is being kept off until the crisis gets better, leaving them in the cold.
"To meet their demands we're the sacrificial lamb," said Minix.
"We were a priority to come and shut it off so why are we not a priority to come back and turn it on," said Woolridge.
NBC 5 reached out to Atmos Energy for a response.
While they would not make a spokesperson available to answer our questions, they provided this statement:
When the temperatures drop to record lows like we are seeing this week, significantly more people rely on a greater amount of natural gas to stay warm. This historic cold weather event has led to an extraordinarily high demand for natural gas, which in turn caused a loss of service in the Mira Lagos neighborhood in Grand Prairie.
First and foremost, we are focused on providing safe and reliable service to our most critical customers including homes, hospitals, churches, and other human needs organizations. After an emergency order was issued relating to the curtailments of natural gas service, we implemented interruptions and curtailments of gas supply to transport and industrial customers beginning at noon on Saturday, Feb. 13.
Even with those curtailments in place for the largest businesses, some residential customers have experienced a loss of natural gas service. We are monitoring the weather and assessing when restoration can safely begin. Please be aware if service is interrupted, restoration may take an extended period of time.
For questions about natural gas service, we encourage our customers to contact the Atmos Energy customer center at 888.286.6700.