Consumers Energy Reconnects Gas to 750 After Mistake

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When the pilot lights in Steve Stokes' home were re-lit, there was a sigh of relief.

"We haven't showered, the dishes are stacking up, my kids need bottles," he said.

It was the same relief felt by about 750 other Consumers Energy customers, in the Mason area, after spending nearly a day without gas. It started, Wednesday, around noon, when crews were putting in a new gas main along Columbia Street, just west of U.S. 127.

"As part of the procedure, they capped one of the gas mains and as they did that, they were checking the gauges to make sure the pressure was holding on both sides, and it did," said Terry DeDoes, Spokesman for Consumers. "Turned out, it was not a two-way feed."

That meant there was no longer any gas feeding into homes and neighborhoods along a three mile stretch of Columbia Street. Ten hours later, the gas was all used up and Consumers started getting calls from people unable to light stoves and use hot water.

"When there is an interruption, like this, we try to get everybody brought back on as timely as possible," said DeDoes.

That meant bringing in about 50 crews from as far away as Pontiac to re-light the gas, starting Thursday at 5 p.m.

Crews checked meters, stoves, water heaters and furnaces, reconnecting several houses and helping people get back to their everyday lives.

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