Dec 14, 2009 7:07 PM by Sarah Rosario
Thousands of families in Eunice are resting easier Monday night. A break in a main natural gas line shut off service to the entire city this weekend.
The gas leak happened Saturday night when officials say the ground gave away at the Florida gas transmission plant on Fouranat Rd, which in turn broke a valve connected to one of the city's major gas lines. The decision to turn the gas off was mandated for safety reasons.
Monday morning, firemen and other city workers were out turning the gas back on. "We didn't know what in the world had happened. Then we heard the next day that the line had ruptured and that we might be out for four or five days but this is quite a nice surprise," said Eunice resident Charles Derbes. Insurance agent Clyde Hodges learned about the problem after turning on his office heater and nothing happened. "I'm really glad to get the heat back on, it was getting really chilly in the office."
Without natural gas businesses like Taco Bell, Burger King and McDonalds were forced to turn customers away and the hotels were the same. One Texas resident said, "I drove up to the hotel, they wanted to offer a discount on the room and I asked her why and she said it's because we have no hot water. I ended up having to drive to Lafayette."
The kitchen at family owned restaurant Krazy Cajuns is run by gas, but workers came up with an alternative. "We were going to shut the restaurant down and then we decided to go get our burners and bring them from home and start cooking," said Cook Hank Granger. As for the food, they changed the menu." We had BBQ and I cooked beef tips and stuff like that and we had vegetables soups, and gumbo; we made it work," he said.
The gas for the hospital, two nursing homes and two dialysis centers were turned on Sunday afternoon. Monday, it was schools, restaurants, and residents turn. "We're glad to have the gas back on. We're up and running and serving the good people of Eunice, " said Granger.
A total of 30 city workers started at six this morning, turning on meters one house at a time.