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Lawrenceville gas problems due to high demand

9:08 PM, Jan 7, 2014   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Atlanta's arctic blast - Jan. 2014
(File Photo)

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Tuesday morning hundreds of people woke up without heat.  For some, it was a blown fuse or transformer.  For those in Lawrenceville, it was a gas line that had lost pressure.

MORE | Cold weather causes natural gas problems in Lawrenceville 

"It felt like to me it was colder in my home than it was outside.  That's why I had to bundle up and just leave, it was really intolerable for me to stay here," said homeowner Lowande Dott.

She realized at 5 am her natural gas wasn't working. But she thought the problem was isolated to her home. She was wrong. A few miles away, Jacqui Henderson sat bundled up in her coat, with the same problem.

"We're so reliant on utilities for basic function, just hoping it will get turned on by tonight," said Henderson, her only heat a space heater nearby.

Lawrenceville has yet to say how many homes were effected, one operator told me she took at least 400 calls alone. But there were likely just as many people like Dott, who hired a private company to unknowingly fix the city's problem.

She spent $80 to have her furnace reset.  The city says its offering to do it free of charge.

Even if you take care of the matter yourself, the city reminds residents to be sure to light their hot water heater pilot light as well.

Despite the loss of heat to thousands of homes across metro Atlanta, the Emergency Director at Atlanta Medical Center says so far, the ER has been fairly quite.

He believes the real rush will come later on, as families turn to gas grills or ovens, desperate to stay warm.

"People who had some effects from minor carbon monoxide poisoning, trying to heat their house and they left their house and they come back and they're feeling light headed or dizzy," said John Voight.

Voight expects to see some injuries as well from elderly who tried to get help, but maybe fell in the process.

In Fulton county, the cold weather alone may have already killed one man. 70-year old Charlie Perkins was found behind a Laundromat on Donald Lee Hollowell, early Tuesday morning. Friends say he was homeless.

"People offer us to come in, churches everybody saying you all want to come in, you need blankets, this and that and we'll still choose to stay out here," said another homeless man, who came to verify what he had heard.

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