When they’re not boiling water in their microwave, some of the Teco Peoples Gas residential customers are boiling with frustration as they wait for crews to restore the natural gas service they lost after the Nov. 11 gas main rupture in Fort Myers.
As of 7 a.m. Monday morning, about 63 percent of the Peoples Gas business customers had seen their service restored, but for the majority of the company’s residential customers the unknown wait time continued.
About 5,150 homes had yet to see restored gas service as of Monday morning, according to a People Gas release. That’s 85 percent of the about 6,000 residential customers affected.
“I think we can tolerate this thing as an accident, but the communication has been terrible,” Brad Scribner said, noting that many homes in the Fiddler’s Creek development near Marco Island where he lives have been affected by the outage.
“All they hear is you must be home, because they are going to go door to door,” Scribner said of his neighbors. “We’re trying to cover for each other in the neighborhood, because we have no idea when this is going to occur.”
The Monday release said Peoples Gas expects to complete the first step in the restoration process by the end of Monday for all of the about 7,200 customers affected. That first step, turning off each customer’s gas line, did not require residents to be around at the time of the shut off.
According to the release, the company’s 200 support workers were also re-pressurizing gas lines running to homes, and then completing the final step of the process — visiting homes and businesses to inspect equipment, turn the gas back on and ignite pilot lights.
That final step requires someone to let the workers inside, and Peoples Gas said work on the final step Monday was focused in two broad areas of Lee and Collier counties. In Collier, crews were working south of Vanderbilt Beach Road to Rattlesnake Hammock Road. In Lee, crews were working from Gladiolus Boulevard south to Williams Road on both sides of Interstate 75.
That left Scribner off the hook Monday, but he wasn’t made aware. Residents can visit naplesnews.com or the Teco Peoples Gas website for updated restoration information.
“I went to a hotel last night so I could get a hot shower and wash my clothes. So, some people are doing that,” Scribner said.
Nancy Barone, a resident of the Estuary Development near Airport-Pulling Road and Golden Gate Parkway, said she had been using water boiled in her microwave to warm the water coming from her bathtub faucet.
“It’s like living in the dark ages,” Barone said, adding that her entire development uses gas. “We don’t realize how blessed we are with running water.”
Waiting for Gas
TECO Peoples Gas said they will be in these following neighbors Tuesday trying to restore service
• Pelican Preserve
• West Bay
• Bella Largo
• Miromar Lakes (East)
• Miromar Lakes (West)
• The Rookery
• Porto Romano at Miromar
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