MATAMORAS, Pa. — UPDATE FRIDAY: UGI workers restored service to about half of the homes and businesses that lost gas service.
A frigid morning was made worse for UGI customers in Pike County.
UGI says a break in a main natural gas hub knocked out the heat for 1,400 homes in the Matamoras and Milford areas.
"Obviously, with the cold weather, our equipment has been working harder than it would in the summer, but the exact cause of the equipment failure, we haven't nailed that down yet," said Don Brominski, UGI spokesperson.
UGI crews had to manually shut off gas to each home affected, going door to door Thursday morning.
Some public buildings and businesses with heat quickly opened as warming shelters while UGI repaired the break.
Tom Quick Inn and the Matamoras Fire Department are among the locations open overnight.
Luhr's True Value in Milford stayed open an extra hour this evening, so people could come in and pick up some extra heaters for their homes.
General Manager Bob Klein says people were panicked, many of them waiting outside of the store long before opening.
"They were already here at 7:30 this morning waiting to buy heaters. So we knew that was going to be a problem. We have three other stores. We started bringing heaters down from them. We cleaned all their inventory out. We were out by Noon, and I sent a truck to Wilkes-Barre, where our True Value warehouse is, and they were nice enough to get us 350 more heater," Klein said.
Milford True Value has been selling these heaters at discounted prices, trying to help out the community.
Klein is encouraging residents to use those heaters on their pipes too.
The store's stock of pipe wrappings and insulation is shrinking.
"If pipes start bursting, I don't know if we have enough fittings and stuff to help everybody out. So we're trying to get more from our other stores delivered down here," Klein added.
A UGI representative says crews are now out trying to restore service to homes, one by one.
Eighty technicians are on the job, but some may still be without natural gas into Friday.
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