Up to 7,000 customers lose gas services

As many as 7,000 Piedmont Natural Gas customers in southern Mecklenburg County were without service over the holiday weekend after company crews doing routine work accidentally cut the gas.

Company officials believe workers accidentally left a valve in the closed, or off, position. Piedmont officials said it probably would take until late this week to restore all service.

Nearly 200 Piedmont workers flooded Charlotte to turn the gas off at affected buildings Friday. The service area begins at Interstate 485 and South Tryon Street and stretches south to Lake Wylie.

“We regret this inconvenience to our customers and would like to reassure them that we will continue to work around the clock ... to restore service to them,” said Michael Yount, the company's senior vice president of utility operations.

Art Mateo, an affected customer who lives in the Palisades near Lake Wylie, said the timing could not be worse.

“Long weekend, everyone's home for three days and not having hot water,” he said.

The task of turning on gas to customers will take longer because the customer must be present for crews to turn the gas back on.

“We may be there for just a few minutes,” said Piedmont spokesman David Trusty. “In other cases, it may stretch into 30-45 minutes.”

Piedmont will provide updates on restoration at www.piedmontng.com.

WCNC (36) contributed.