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Gas supplies cut for three days
10:49am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of homes in 17 streets were without gas for days after supplies were cut off across Unsworth.
Water seeped into the gas pipes, forcing supplies to 385 properties to be cut off last Thursday morning, leaving residents in the cold.
National Grid engineers had to gain access to all the homes affected to turn off the gas supply before repairs could be carried out.
They secured a warrant from a court on Friday morning to allow them to enter three houses where no one was present.
Work then started to pump water out of the gas mains and on Saturday, engineers began to return to houses to reconnect the gas supplies.
A customer centre was set up at Unsworth and Sunnybank Community Centre, in Sunnybank Road, and hot plates and fan heaters were provided for vulnerable residents. One person was put up in the Village Hotel in Bury for health reasons.
National Grid staff stayed in the area until 5pm on Sunday, by which time the gas supply to only 11 properties had not been restored. Cards were left at the houses so the occupants could contact National Grid when they returned home.
A spokesman said: “We are very grateful for all the support people showed over the weekend.
“The temperatures were dropping and we were very lucky that we got most of the people back on gas before the snow started falling on Sunday.”
The problems were caused by water from a leaking pipe entering the gas network last Thursday morning.
National Grid received the first report of loss of gas supply at 8.18am.
United Utilities repaired the leak at 11.50am, but water had got into the pipes and stopped gas getting through.
Helen Wilson, of United Utilities, said: “Our engineers managed to repair the water main within two hours when it was reported to us and we’re now investigating with National Grid what had caused the pipe to leak.”
Streets affected by the loss of gas were: Parr Lane, Cunningham Drive, Swinton Crescent, Dempsey Drive, Gort Close, Wavell Drive, Alexander Drive, Montgomery Drive, Parr Fold, Victoria Mews, off Blackley Close, Simister Drive, Thurston Close, Chadderton Drive, Monsall Close, Blackley Close and Randale Drive.
Under National Grid’s compensation scheme, residents can claim £30 for every day they are without gas and £50 per day is available for non-domestic properties.
A spokesman said they had written to everyone affected with details about the scheme.