Police said up to 500 Eversource customers in Willimantic had their gas service shut off on Wednesday afternoon after a contractor let air into a gas line while working on pipes.
Eversource said a second-party contractor inadvertently put air into a gas line. It's the same line that delivers gas into homes. Eversource said the air can impact the amount of pressure used to pump gas into homes.
This happened between 2 and 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The Eversource contractor was working on a pipe in the area of Main Street near Bridge Street.
"The gas stove wasn't working then the drier wasn't working, that's how we knew it was out," said Kim Lewis.
The service was shut off to homes in the area of Boston Post Road, Milk Street, Union Street, and Church Street.
Officials said close to 50 technicians were going door-to-door to shut off meters to fix the problem and recharge gas lines. Then, crews will return to the houses to relight and reset pilot lights.
This involves technicians walking into people's homes in the middle of the night.
"The problem that we're running into now is that it's getting late. They are going to be going door-to-door overnight. They'll be accompanied by a city police officer," said Willimantic Corporal Stan Parizo Jr.
Eversource officials said they don't know how long it will take to fix the problem but they said crews will be working around the clock.
"If a resident has a concern that someone is knocking at their door claiming to be Eversource, we want them to air on the side of caution. Call city police headquarters. We'll verify this in fact is Eversource," Parizo Jr. said.
Eversource officials said they will have a better idea on Thursday morning of how long this will take to fix.
It is unclear why air was pumped into the gas line.
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