Dominion Energy Ohio dispatches more crews to fix gas lines disabled by city water main break

Additional crews worked Sunday to repair gas lines as several businesses and residents remained without heat in downtown Akron.

An update on how many of the 100 customers were still affected was not given Sunday in an email from Stephanie Moore, spokesperson for Dominion Energy Ohio. The outage could last into Monday with the company advising customers needing a warm place to sleep to call Dominion Energy at 877-542-2630.

The gas outage was reported early Saturday morning where a city water main broke near Akron Children's Hospital. The city said the line was repaired Saturday as the street caved due to the underground water leak. More bad weather moved in Sunday.

"We completed the water main repair yesterday afternoon, backfilled the excavation and placed temporary asphalt to open the street," Akron Public Service Director Chris Ludle said Sunday

Akron city workers pump out water from a section of West Center Road near Akron Children's Hospital on Saturday.
Akron city workers pump out water from a section of West Center Road near Akron Children's Hospital on Saturday.

To avoid lines freezing and breaking inside apartments and offices, the gas company on Sunday advised customers to let water faucets drip, open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to reach uninsulated pipes below sinks and appliances near exterior walls, or disconnect water and drainage systems altogether, though the last bit of advice could also disable fire sprinkler systems, the company noted.

Affected customers are residences or businesses along West Cedar and Exchange streets, as well as side streets connecting the two, from Akron Children's Hospital to Cleveland Clinic Akron General to just beyond Glendale Cemetery heading into Akron's West Hill neighborhood, according to information provided by the gas company.

Moore said additional crews were called in from Ashtabula, Canton and Youngstown to help repair the waterlogged gas lines. The company asked customers not to tamper with gas meters, many of which are downhill from the municipal waterline break.

Still investigating Saturday morning, Dominion Energy confirmed Sunday that the municipal main break caused water to enter its natural gas lines amid freezing temperatures.

"Crews are in the process of removing the water," Moore said. "Once water is removed from the lines, gas service to customers can begin to be restored. Dominion Energy expects it to take most of Sunday and possibly into Monday to restore all impacted customers. Repairs are taking longer than anticipated due to frigid temperatures and falling snow."

A rupture in a 16-inch water main early Saturday morning led to the collapse of a small section of West Center Street in downtown Akron.
A rupture in a 16-inch water main early Saturday morning led to the collapse of a small section of West Center Street in downtown Akron.

Moore said customers will be contacted when repairs are complete to have their gas service turned back on.

With extreme cold in the forecast, the city of Akron extended warming center hours at four community centers. The nearest to the gas outage, Mason Community Learning Center at 700 E. Exchange St., was open Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The gas company also cautioned customers not to burn anything larger than a candle without adequate ventilation and avoid using stoves or ovens to keep warm.

Reach reporter Doug Livingston at dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3792.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Dominion Energy dispatches more crews to restore downtown Akron gas by Monday

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