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NO GAS: Retirement community without utility since July 26

(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
Published: Aug. 7, 2018 at 2:15 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 6, 2018 at 10:21 PM MST
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(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - An isolated incident has become a nightmare for neighbors. A break and leak has left hundreds without gas utility on the east side of Tucson for nearly two weeks.

At the front of the community, a big sign at the security gate is a constant reminder for the residents coming home, signaling the struggle inside: "GAS IS OFF"

Nancy Peterson has lived there for four years and showed Tucson News Now the initial notice sent out by the Far Horizons East property management informing them of a "gas line issue" in the community of 416 homes.

On July 26, a work crew member was attempting to fix the wiring on an electrical outage at a home in the 55+ retirement community, near Speedway and Pantano, when they broke the gas line outside the home, residents said.

"Well, I guess you don't fool around with gas," Charlene Corbett said.

The resident of 12 years said she could see the response across the street from her home.

"They came over and knocked on the door and said you have to evacuate now. So we did," Corbett told us. "When it happens you just think, 'Okay.' I just grabbed my purse and out we went. All in all, it was a couple hours I guess."

Those frantic, frenzied hours have become nearly two weeks of waiting.

It hasn't been a quick fix. In fact, there is no hot water flowing from her faucets and she has a clothes dryer that won't dry.

"It's interesting. It kind of reminds me of the olden days. (laughter) I feel like the pioneer lady," Corbett said laughing. "I manage. Where there's a will, there's a way. You just find ways to solve the problem because it's something that was an accident. It happened."

She's in good spirits. Others are growing impatient.

On Monday, August 6, staff members with Far Horizons East, owned by Cal-Am Properties, were holding a meeting to update some frustrated residents inside the community room.

They would not let Tucson News Now's cameras inside, but said that crews will have to replace and test old gas lines in the whole complex. Staff could not say when they will start the construction work or when they'll finish.

Corbet is thankful she still has electricity, at least, in the sweltering summer sun. She's also thankful it wasn't much worse.

"I'm sure there's some frustration of trying to work things out," she said. "In many ways, I feel like it's a blessing in disguise. I think it could've been a tragedy down the road. This way, they're going to come in and check everything to be sure everything is alright."

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