Water seeping into downtown Upland lines causes natural gas outages for residents and businesses – Daily Bulletin

A leak that sent water into natural gas lines in downtown Upland over the weekend caused extended natural gas cuts by SoCalGas to a few businesses and dozens of area residents , according to the gas company.

But as crews have worked around the clock in the 200 block of East A Street since Saturday morning, July 30, the source of the water leak has remained elusive, according to SoCalGas spokesman Adam Eventov.

“It’s a safe situation, but it’s a huge inconvenience for residents,” Eventov said.

Water entering natural gas lines clogs them up, essentially rendering them unusable, Eventov said. Crews moved north block by block, moving from 7th Street to 9th Street to eliminate possibilities, Eventov said.

A timeline for a resolution to the issue was not available Wednesday afternoon, Eventov said.

At the height of the situation, as many as 120 customers were without natural gas, said Stephen Parker, deputy city manager of Upland. Affected customers had access to other utilities such as power and water, aside from brief, intermittent water outages, Parker said.

“I’m so thankful this hasn’t become a health and safety issue,” Parker said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, natural gas storage had been restored for 67 customers, Parker said.

The city has partnered with the nonprofit Upland Community Resource Center in the event that services are requested by affected residents, according to Parker.

Meal packages prepared by the Family Service Association will be provided to those in need at the Gibson Senior Center, 250 North 3rd Ave., on Thursday, Aug. 4, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., according to Parker. The packages include four frozen microwave dinners per person and no pre-registration is required, Parker said.

A hot shower can be arranged at various locations through the Upland Community Resource Center, Parker said. No requests for those services had been made as of Wednesday, he said.

The city planned to hang door tags with all available service information on them at affected residences later in the day Wednesday, Parker said.

The Cheesecake Café at 220 East A St. and Eden Garden Fusion Grill 392 East A St. were using portable natural gas pods supplied by SoCalGas on Wednesday, according to the city. The affected area spanned “scattered blocks” in the city center near East A Street, Eventov said.

“It’s a slow, systematic process,” Eventov said.

The water leak must be stopped before permanent repairs and natural gas restorations can be made, according to the gas company. A smell of natural gas could be observed downtown, but it was the result of water purging from the gas lines and did not pose a threat to public health or safety, SoCalGas said.

For more information, the Town of Upland can be contacted at 909-931-4280.

David H. Henry