Richmond was praised for its strong sense of community today by the gas company dealing with flooded pipes in and around the area.
Cadent Gas Ltd (CGL) are running a help centre in Richmond Hill Hotel to support customers from 2,200 properties without gas after a water pipe burst and flooded the gas supply in Richmond and surrounding areas on January 23.
CDL customer specialist Bryan Furness, a member of the team running the centre, explained that people in the community have also organised help and support for each other via social media.
He said: “It has been heartwarming to see people looking after their neighbours. We have seen really good community spirit.”
He thanked customers for being so patient and said more than 1,000 customers have received electric heaters and hot plates from the help centre since last Friday, as well as more general support.
Describing the process of reconnecting customers, Mr Furness explained that there is a slight risk that water could have passed through meters into individual homes via the main supply, so each property needs to be visited by CGL.
When this safety check has been completed, CDL can then switch gas appliances back on and advises customers not to attempt this themselves.
He explained that initial high pressure from the flood may have caused damage which allowed water to get into the gas system.
He said: “What has been described to me as a Kinder egg sized amount of water got into our pipe.”
CDL have been posting regular updates on Twitter but despite this, residents report confusion.
Responding to a tweet from CDL, Imogen Clare said: “Thank you! The text doesn’t quite line up with the video. Text implies gas is being restored but video suggest areas north of sheen road still need to wait for the water to be pumped out of the pipes.”
Twitter user WhiteCollarGrime response to CDL’s information also sought clarification.
He said: “What’s the latest for St. Paul’s Road? No gas since last Thursday/Friday and haven’t had an engineer visit for a week!”
In another comment, he added:”Can you at least answer my question please? What is the latest update for St. Paul’s Road?”
Kelly Goss also had questions for CDL.
She said: “It’s great to update here but what about people who aren’t on twitter or the internet? Hope they are being communicated to as we have had nothing through our letterbox.”