Waterproof gas customers without service

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 9, 2010

WATERPROOF — Gas customers in the southern Tensas Parish town of Waterproof faced low gas pressure all week and were left without any gas service for several hours Friday, one of the coldest days of the winter thus far.

Tensas Parish Homeland Security Director Rick Foster said in response to gas pressure issues all week, homeland security asked the parish schools, major gas users, to close to help conserve gas pressure.

While the natural gas vendor was in the process of piping more gas in to help alleviate the pressure problems, it was discovered that the emergency gas line had several leaks that had to be repaired, Foster said.

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The line was in the process of being repaired when another gas system snafu happened Friday morning.

“(Friday) morning one of the compressor stations at Lake St. John that routinely supplies our system malfunctioned and went down,” Foster said. “Waterproof is on a line from that system, while Newellton and St. Joseph are on a different line.”

The malfunction caused gas service in Waterproof to virtually shut off.

“When the compressor went down, Waterproof lost gas pressure down to nothing,” Foster said. “All of their pilot lights went down, all their natural gas appliances went down.”

When the compressor was restored to service, crews shut off all of the gas meters to allow for the line to build up pressure, and as it was restored crew members were lighting pilot lights for those who were at home, Foster said.

“We hope that everything will work fine and we are over this immediate crisis,” he said.

During the day, while it was unknown if the gas service would be restored, Concordia Parish Emergency Director Morris White said he was alerted to prepare the Red Cross shelter at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center and another one at First Baptist Church in Ferriday.

Foster said he alerted the shelters in Concordia Parish their services would not be needed after gas service was restored.