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Justice talks Charleston natural gas outage, corrections probe

By Evan Bevins, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice has asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission to investigate where the responsibility lies in a natural gas outage affecting more than 1,000 residents on Charleston’s west side.

During his online administrative briefing Thursday, Justice and other officials provided updates on public assistance for residents affected by the outage. He also praised the efforts of Mountaineer Gas in responding to the situation.

“Mountaineer Gas has really stepped up. They’ve done an amazing job,” he said. “This is not their fault.”

Justice said the outage was caused by a high-pressure water line “that blew apart” and damaged a gas line, causing water to infiltrate 46 miles of natural gas lines. In response to a question from a reporter, Justice said it appears West Virginia American Water may ultimately be responsible.

“From what we know right now … this responsibility to this terrible gas outage is 100% the responsibility of the water company,” he said.

A representative of West Virginia American Water said Thursday that it had fully restored water service to its customers after a water main break on the afternoon of Nov. 10.

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