Photo by PayPaul

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: A National Grid representative said the company was forced to cut gas to 1,100 Gravesend clients this week, after a leaking water main interfered with their gas lines and caused a drop in pressure.

Gas is cut along the areas marked in red. (Map courtesy of Google Maps)

The spokesperson said they are hoping to restore all service by Friday, and gas is already flowing in some areas. Sheepshead Bites is the first and only news outlet covering the problem, which is affecting a population the size of a small town.

The incident is not related to any gas leak and there is no danger for residents, the representative noted, but service to 1,100 households on an approximately half-mile strip of Ocean Parkway means they’ve had to deploy 300 crews working around the clock for a speedy restoration.

“We want to do this safely and as quickly as possible and we appreciate the coordination of the customers in that area,” said spokesperson Karen Young.

Young noted that the work is a very labor intensive project. First, workers had to go door-to-door to ensure gas service is safely off in each home. Once they identified the source of the leak, which they’ve done, it must be repaired. Then the water must be pumped out of the gas lines. Finally, workers need to go door-to-door again to relight appliances in the homes.

“We’ve made some progress. We are breaking this down into areas for the work, and so we have restored gas service to about 233 customers,” Young said. “We know it’s a big project and a big job.”

The geographic boundaries of the affected area are Ocean Parkway from Avenue U to Brighton Court (near Avenue Z), and on Gravesend Neck Road from Ocean Parkway to East 2nd Street. National Grid first became aware of the problem on Tuesday morning.

The crews will continue to work around the clock, which means late-night construction noise that could disturb residents.

“We apologize that the work may be noisy, but it’s necessary during this emergency situation so that we can get the service back on as quickly as possible,” Young said, adding that doing the work in sections means crews will not be working in one place for an extended period of time.

UPDATE (6:40 p.m.): Hours after we published the story above, National Grid has issued a press release. I’ve pasted it below.

NATIONAL GRID CREWS RESTORING GAS SERVICE TO BROOKLYN CUSTOMERS INTERRUPTED BY WATER IN GAS MAIN
Safe, Efficient Service Restoration is Top Priority; Hundreds Deployed to Affected Area to Speed Process

April 18, 2012 – On Tuesday, April 17, a 30-inch high-pressure water main leaked in the neighborhood of Gravesend, Brooklyn, resulting in water intrusion of a 12-inch low-pressure National Grid gas main supplying that area.

More than 300 National Grid crews are working tirelessly around-the-clock to complete an assessment of damage to the natural gas delivery system and restore service to affected customers as soon as possible.

Based on our early assessment, the impacted area includes approximately 1,100 National Grid gas customers in the area along Ocean Parkway between Ave. U and Ave. Z.

National Grid took immediate steps to isolate the effected area and is in the process of pumping water out of the gas main, which must be done before progressing to checking and then reactivating gas service to individual customers. More than 5,300 gallons of water has already been extracted. Some portions of the main are being brought back into service and we already restored 230 customers.

At this time we are targeting to have all customers restored by Friday. We are reaching out to the customers in the affected areas directly, and have notified appropriate city authorities, including police, fire and transportation.

National Grid appreciates our customers’ cooperation. This is a labor-intensive process and crews will need to go door-to-door to re-light appliances.

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  • Mschacha4304

    im on ave x and east 3rd, it goes far beyond the map! i hope service restores quickly! this is a horrible inconvenience! 

    • Arthur Borko

      But a necessary one. Or would you prefer they ignored the problem and allowed the gas to leak before something or someone blew up?

      • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

        Read more carefully, Arthur.

        “The incident is not related to any gas leak and there is no danger for residents, the representative noted”

        • Arthur Borko

          Oh, I get that, but water leaking INTO the gas lines means gas can leak OUT. It’s simply a matter of pressure. They even said the water was messing with the gas pressure inside the lines. Which means at some point, if the water leak was allowed to continue or the lines weren’t properly treated, the situation would reverse itself and we’d have leaking gas.

          Look, If anyone knows anything about passing gas….well, its me.

          Addendum: Regardless of me being right or wrong, the action is still unnecessary though!

          • PayPaul

             Gas and water don’t mix. That’s the bottom line. Pun somewhat intentional.

  • nolastname

    I’m pretty sure that pic is Avenue V and E 7th St. Is the apartment building in the pic without gas?

    • randyice

       that is the corner you think it is.

      • nolastname

        I have been trying to get in touch with a friend that lives there.
        I know there are some people that would need assistance in that building.

    • PayPaul

       Yes it is. Good guess. That’s where I first got wind of this event. At first I thought it was just another infrastructure addition as a result of the new (sic) homes being built on that block.

      • Arthur Borko

        Another Pun!

        • PayPaul

           Absolutely! Good eye and that one was entirely unintentional. It just leaked out.

          • Arthur Borko

            I’m sure everyone reading this is having a gas of a good time.

          • nolastname

            You and Arthur are having too much fun. 

  • Arthur Borko

    If Only Con-Ed was this damned efficient!

    • us citizen

       I find  ConEd to  fix  things   fairly  quickly  when  transformers  blow

      • anon.

        but wouldn’t it be nice if ConEd actually fixed the problem so that 
        they don’t blow? every year on my block, come that first heat wave….   
        BOOM! and then the wait. 
        with all the new housing adding additional users, it’s well past time to update 
        the system that’s in place. 
        but, that seems to be the case for most of Sheepshead Bay now. keeps building UP with no thought for how to accommodate the newer population. 

  • Alan from Gravesend

    Thanks Bites for a first-rate report and regular updates on this situation.  You showed the effectiveness of local news media in reporting on developing stories that seriously impact our community.  Nice job!

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  • PayPaul

    When all this is finished there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road ahead of us.  All of you that drive had better have a good suspension system.

    • nolastname

      Did they ever fix the side walk on the South side of V between OP and E7th?
      It was a real hazard that went into a down sloped driveway.

  • http://www.bigapplesewer.com/ Master Plumber

    To all my fellow neighbors affected by this gas outage, Big Apple will be available to re light water heaters and boilers once the gas service is restored.  We will have crews working around the clock.  Mention you saw us on SheepsheadBites!

    • randyice

       u should expect to see a request to install instant hot water heaters

      • http://www.bigapplesewer.com/ Master Plumber

        Instant hot water heaters are still gas fired so they wouldn’t be so helpful in this situation.

        • randyice

          uhm, i have never seen a gas instant, but i have seen used and installed electric ones that can supply a shower for 3 people. 

  • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

    Is FEMA there? This seems to be one of those times they should probably be out here.

    • randyice

       i doubt even the city OEM is there, FEMA is used for huge disasters. as would be OEM. overall this is the best time for this to happen, its not the middle of winter, its fairly warm out. given cold showers suck, no oven/stove sucks. its a major inconvenience.

      FEMA gets could have been used for us during the blizzard, but even that would be overkill, they are busy with all the tornados in the midwest.. where full town are wiped out, these people who have no gas, can get little electric stoves and or instant hot water heaters, and survive no problem

      • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

        I agree with you that this isn’t the biggest disaster, but FEMA also provides non-perishable food supplies which might help some people in the area. Their not being here is not a reason for major criticism from me, I just mentioned it because I feel the option would be nice since people do pay taxes for such a safety net.

        Btw, FEMA’s region 2 is specifically for NY/NJ/Puerto Rico so it’s somewhat of a different resource than the ones helping in the tornado recovery.

        • randyice

           they all have food and water,  just not gas, so they dont need food. thats why i highly doubt this would even be a blib on FEMA’s radar

          • Vlad

            we have electricity. Microwaves for the win :)

  • Leanni

    WHAT IS THAT HORRIBLE NOISE THAT WON’T STOP IT’S 11 PM!!!

  • Barkingspider07

    Thank goodness the weather has been really warm.  My home gas pipe sprung a small leak and they shut down my service on the coldest day  of the year.  I was happy that one of my friends was able to give me the name of a licensed plumber, so it was repaired the next day, but wow, getting through that cold night was a nightmare!

  • anon.

    Just happy that we can actually SEE them working.  

  • Toubis

    Im soo tired from all that noise from last night……
    I spoke to a few of the guys working on the issue, and each one is giving me a different story.  earliest i was told gas will be back was friday, another guy told me next tuesday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=16407091 Vlad Nevsky

    or they can just order a container of sham-wows to pick up the water

  • Pat

    Why is National Grid not
    adequately communicating with affected customers regarding the Gravesend,
    Brooklyn service disruption which began on 4/17/12? The statement on your
    website is not sufficient. Where are National Grids public relations and
    community outreach officials? I understand and can see that National Grid is
    out in full force to identify and correct the problem and ultimately restore
    service; however, the lack of communication from National Grid regarding this
    issue and specifically with respect to customers who are without service is
    deplorable. What are National Grids plans to compensate the 1,100 affected
    customers. It is bad enough that we are unable to cook, but far more
    inconvenient that we cannot take a hot or even warm shower. In closing, I
    understand that these things happen, my chief concern however is National Grids
    inability or more troubling, their refusal to communicate with affected
    customers…

  • Pat

    More residents in the affected area need to complain about this “National Grid” situation. I contacted Councilman Recchia’s office this morning for any updates thay may be available. Although his office was helpful and aware of the situation, it seems that I was the only complaint / inquiry that they had received. Thats sad. Either this incovenience is not bothering most residents or they just don’t know how or where to complain, or just don’t have the time. I applaude National Grid workers and their timely response; however, the silence from National Grid and local City Officials is troubling. All the added construction and related equipment along with the normal day to day traffic in the area is beginning to raise some serious Public Safety Concerns. Pedestrians, including school children are being forced at many locations into the street where they have to navigate and compete with moving traffic and frustrated drivers. This is a receipe for diaster, lets hope and pray no one gets hurt. We could certainly use some additional Traffic Control, such as Traffic Agents at some of these locations, particularly near Ocean Parkway…

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