On Tuesday morning, I just got home from the barber shop (hair cut time). I sat down to check on my emails. Someone was pounding on the front door. I opened it and a man wearing a yellow shirt and a red vest said, “You have a bad gas leak. You have to evacuate the house.” He came in and turned off all the pilot lights. He called the gas company. They sent out an inspector. He checked the meter. He said if the gauge goes to 10, then you have to evacuate. Mine went to 36. I was outside all day.
I called the landlord. The gas company called for more people. They turned off the main meter and brought in this huge vacuum cleaner to suck the gas out of the dirt. I asked, “How long will it take?” “Oh, about twenty minutes, or when the gauge goes to zero.” It was so loud I went to my back yard. About two hours later it shut off. My ears were ringing for a long time.
The landlord told me he had taken the next day off so he could dig a 25 foot ditch for the new pipe.
The gas company said to make the ditch 20 to 25 feet long, 7 or 8 inches wide and 18 inches deep. This is in back of the house, more or less like a driveway. The landlord worked about 5 hours that night and all the next day.
At one time there were 6 trucks in my front yard. They told me it would take a week to fix this problem. I think I had gone into shock. I had no shower, no stove, no oven, no heat, and for a while no water, hot or cold (the water line broke).
It’s funny, we gripe when we get a high utility bill, but when it’s gone, it hurts.
This started on Tuesday morning and ended Friday night. It was one of the worst things I’ve been through in a long time!
May 4, 2011