Locust Point gas leak

Crews work Monday at the site of a gas leak on East Fort Avenue in Locust Point. A contractor's work struck the gas main; 1,200 homes and businesses in Locust Point will lose gas for several days, according to Baltimore Gas and Electric. (Algerina Perna / The Baltimore Sun / November 7, 2011)

Natural gas service will be restored to customers in Locust Point starting late Wednesday and the company has begun forced entries into homes as part of repair efforts, according to a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. official.

The company had estimated Monday that more than 1,000 customers would be without gas service for several days as a result of a bridge contractor accidentally breaking a 12-inch gas main Monday in the 1200 block of E. Fort Ave.

About 100 households and businesses in Locust Point had their natural gas service restored Tuesday, but 900 more customers would continue without the heating and cooking fuel as the utility struggles to fix a ruptured main, BGE spokeswoman Linda Foy said.

In a bid to speed the restoration, about 60 workers from PECO and Philadelphia Gas Works also have been called in to help BGE canvass Locust Point and disconnect gas lines in homes and businesses. The utility said it must do that before starting work on the broken main to ensure that no gas seeps into buildings during repairs. Workers also must reconnect each customer once the main is repaired.

BGE said it has been unable to contact occupants in about 100 homes and buildings. By Tuesday night, about 20 of those homes had been entered by BGE crews with the assistance of a locksmith and the oversight of police, according to BGE spokesman Rob Gould.

Repairs revealed that the bridge the main runs underneath is structurally unsound, which required the gas to be rerouted and delayed the restoration process, Gould said.

tim.wheeler@baltsun.com

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

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