Families in Hempfield Township without heat this week due to unusual cause

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HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Several families in Hempfield Township were left with no heat this week.

It’s an unusual sight -- black trash bags cover nearly every gas meter in one neighborhood.

People’s Natural Gas installed the bags, some insulation and heat strips on Monday, so the meters wouldn’t freeze.

Channel 11 found out that the problem is that water is seeping into a supply line, and the water is disrupting the flow of gas to customers.

Rick Petro is one of the neighbors who didn’t have heat for several days earlier this week.

“They’ve known about the problem for at least a month,” said Petro.    

He said the gas company crews show up regularly to a particular pipe.  They pump out the water that collects in the line; otherwise, the gas can’t flow.

“The guys that come up and fix it, they say, ‘It’s just a Band-Aid right now,” said Petro.  “I talked to the supervisor, and he said it’s out of his hands and in the hands of the higher-ups.”