DENVER (CBS4) – Frustration boils over in Denver’s Elyria Swansea neighborhood as a natural gas outage spanned day six on Monday. According to Xcel Energy, 700 customers were initially affected, and on Monday evening around half were back in service.
Around the northern neighborhood of Denver, a maze of cones and contractors has been filling the streets for almost a week. To say that Lilia Uribe has gotten tired of the scene would be an understatement.
“[I’m] more frustrated than angry because they don’t tell us exactly when the problem will be fixed, ”said Uribe. “ONt first, they say, the next day, and then the next day, until Sunday, and today is Monday and it’s still the same. “
Uribe’s house is one of hundreds that lost natural gas supplies last Wednesday. Since then, many neighbors have been without hot water and are unable to cook in their own kitchens, instead relying on their outdoor grills or Xcel food trucks to get a hot meal.
“We recognize that this is an enormous impact, but we also appreciate the support we have received from the community,” said Kelly Flenniken, director of community relations at Xcel.
According to Xcel, the problem started when crews found water in a gas pipe last Wednesday.
“A water pipe damaged our infrastructure in the Swansea borough. As a result of this damage, water streamed out of the water pipe of the third-party manufacturer, got into our gas system and damaged it and our customers’ gas meters over a large area. This has led to the outages we’ve seen in the past few days, ”the company said in a statement.
“Our entire system had to be rebuilt in this neighborhood, including the gas meters in every single house,” said Flenniken.
According to Flenniken, recent weather slowed that process even more, but gas was restored in about 367 households as of Monday evening.
“I thought it was just a quick fix, but that’s not the case,” said resident Sarah Olmos. “Hopefully today is our day to get it going again.”
Olmos, who lives on Columbine Street, was among the hundreds of people waiting for the service to be restored. She has been a long-time resident of the neighborhood, which has been pushed to its limits by years of closings and disruptions, and hopes that it will all be over soon.
“It was just a headache, really bad headache,” said Olmos. “The mixture of the new motorway and the mixture of this combination was a nightmare.”
On Monday, Xcel will again provide food trucks in Lorraine Granado Community Park and Swansea Elementary School. The company will bring the trucks back on Tuesday if necessary, Flennikan said.
Xcel also offers shower vouchers for the Eagle Point Recreation Center in Commerce City and the YMCA in downtown.