DALLAS, TX — Atmos Energy announced Thursday the natural gas provider is temporarily shutting down service in the neighborhood where a house exploded as a result of a gas leak last week. The outage will affect around 3,000 homes in the neighborhood.
The area affected by the outage spans roughly from Walnut Hill Drive to the north, Webb Chapel Road to the west, Northwest Highway to the south and Lakemont Drive to the east (see map below).
Residents in these areas will not be asked to evacuate but could be without service for up to three weeks, said John Paris, Mid-Tex division’s president.
During the outage period, crews will work to completely replace the natural gas system in the neighborhood. In addition, Atmos crews and contract plumbers will be on hand to replace or repair gas leaks in the gas lines that run from main systems into homes as well as leaks on in-home appliances, Paris said.
Kevin Acre, the Senior Vice President of Safety and Enterprise Services for Atmos, said the sudden leaks came from shifts in the soil after recent heavy rains. A geotechnical engineer hired to study the cause of the leaks cited "dissimilar" formations in the ground that put strain on the underground pipes.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins went on to say the older steel pipes have begun to deteriorate. The system will be replaced with a more flexible, PVC-type pipe.
Stephen C. Foster Elementary, which was evacuated last week in a gas leak scare, will continue its regular school schedule during the outage. The school was given a gas tank so it can continue to provide lunches for the students, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Evacuations began Feb. 23 after an explosion destroyed a home on Espanola Drive and killed a 12-year-old girl.
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