12 On Your Side: Month-long gas leak plagues Richmond community - WNEM TV 5

12 On Your Side: Month-long gas leak plagues Richmond community

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Neighbors in South Richmond call 12 On Your Side after weeks of gas leaking in their community. It happened on East 34th Street. The city admits there was a leak, but officials claimed it could take more than a year to fix. That changed when we got involved.

"It was awful," said homeowner Wayne Jones. "It was terrible. You could smell it."

Jones complained the smell was starting to make people sick.

"That's when I called 12 On Your Side," said Jones.

We went straight to Angela Fountain with the Department of Public Utilities.

"There is no time frame you can give these folks as to when this will be solved?" we asked Fountain.

"Within 15 months," replied Fountain. "It's classified as a class two gas leak."

Meanwhile, Jones and other neighbors were afraid to even strike a match in their neighborhood.

"Anything could have happened," said Jones. "We are taxpaying citizens like everybody else in this city."

Fountain said the city would monitor the case.

"We are looking at this," said Fountain. "We possibly could move it up the list."

It turns out crews were already working to repair the problem during our interview with Fountain. The city responded just hours after our call.

"They sent three maintenance trucks," said Jones. "I was impressed."

Jones was not alone.

"Channel 12...they are on our side," said neighbor William Spain. "I don't see an other TV stations out here." 

Fountain says federal law gives the city up to 15 months to respond to class 2 or class 3 gas leaks. The city responded within 24 hours of our call. 

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