Ashburn resolves propane gas panic - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Ashburn resolves propane gas panic

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - Things are finally getting back to normal in Ashburn after the city had to shut down 50 miles of its natural gas system. Officials say a large commercial natural gas customer leaked propane in the system by crossing service lines.

The city had to turn off gas to all customers Friday afternoon before workers could empty the lines. Crews have been going door to door turning gas back on. It's been a long two days for workers, not mention an inconvenience for businesses and residents in the city.

"It's been a long night and a long day," said Natural Gas and Propane Director Roger Giddens. "I couldn't believe it happened but it did."

Giddens has been working along side city workers the past 30 plus hours to fix the problem. He says businesses called late Friday morning suspecting problems. That's when the city checked levels and noticed propane mixed with the natural gas. It's a problem that could become very dangerous if not fixed immediately.

The city had to cut off gas around 10:00 Friday night at the Waffle House which was peak time for business right after the football game. They coped with the problem by cooking food and pancakes on electric skillets.  

The gas was back on around 11: 00 in the morning. Their makeshift set-up did cost a temporary bottleneck in business, but the manager says staff handled the situation well considering the circumstances. City manager Ben Taylor is also pleased with the response form surrounding communities.

"That was a very big undertaking and we couldn't have done it without the help of other cities and we would like to thank them," said Taylor.

If your gas is still off the city manager urges you to not to turn it on yourself. Workers will be back Monday to resolve existing issues.

The city has not announced plans to file suit against the company that leaked propane gas. No word on exactly how much propane leaked into the natural gas system.

Ashburn residents in need of emergency assistance regarding the natural gas concern should call 911.

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