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National Grid Customers Face Interrupted Gas Service

National Grid has been working on changing the natural gas service pipelines from steel to plastic over the past five and a half years and to date, replaced approximately 30,000 steel lines with more durable plastic material. In Manhasset, 165 residents are left who now face interrupted service. The company is pushing hard to ensure the handful of customers who did not schedule appointments previously schedule an appointment for the free reconditioning.

The remaining group recently received generic letters from National Grid reminding them of the state mandated upgrades, said spokeswoman Wendy Ladd, and returned home to yellow markings on their streets and lawns indicating pipeline locations. Those who did not respond by promptly scheduling appointments received a copy of the letter taped to their door as well as additional reminders in the form of door hangers and employees coming to their door.

If servicers are attending to one home on a block and realize that owners of another have yet to invite them in, they will deactivate service there until the upgrade is complete.

“We’ll come out that night. They don’t have to be without gas. We’ll [even] come out the same day,” Ladd said. National Grid contracted with Hicksville-based Asplundh Construction to carry out the work, and the company is accommodating customers with a 16-hour range of appointment times on Mondays through Saturdays.

Customers must be home for the two-to-four hour upgrades because Asplundh Construction employees require access to gas meters and appliances, Ladd said. They will also relocate gas meters to outdoor locations upon request, which they have already done for more than 10,000 Long Islanders.

George Street resident Mary Lowry is not looking forward to living without gas, but thanks to a Town of North Hempstead-owned tree blocking access to her pipeline, she may have to.

“It would be very annoying because it’s not in our hands,” Lowry said, adding that she is happy to remove the tree if National Grid obtains the town’s permission to do.

Park Avenue resident Veena Sawhney is also on National Grid’s small list of lingering upgrades, but she cannot remember receiving even one letter about it.

“I didn’t know why the yellow flags were there, they didn’t tell us anything about it,” Sawhney said.