Is the Gas Leak on Moultrie Street a ‘Disaster Waiting to Happen?’

Photo: Thomas Handschiegel
Photo: Thomas Handschiegel

An ongoing gas leak on Moultrie Street isn’t just a literal and figurative headache to neighbors. It’s also raising concerns over the prospect of worse complications, including the ghost of National Grid Bureaucratic Nightmares Yet To Come.

Local resident Thomas Handschiegel notified Greenpointers about the leak, which he says has been festering for over a month, and to little avail from National Grid.

Large cut-outs in the street in front of 15 Moultrie Street — plus a strong lingering odor — are “extremely disconcerting given the fact that there are a lot of smokers in the area, and it appears to be a disaster waiting to happen,” said Handschiegel.

Karen Young, a spokesperson for National Grid, confirmed that the company repaired a leak on a gas main and did routine maintenance work in the area after receiving a complaint on Nov. 6.

“Everything was completed on Nov. 9 and as part of our safety protocol, crews continue to conduct routine surveys and monitoring in the area,” she said.

As of today, however, Handschiegel maintained that the odor persists, and that the followup from National Grid technicians has been laughably negligent.

“The technician explained that the main gas pipe on the street has several leaks,” said Handschiegel. “Basically, they found a fresh leak in every spot where they cut into the pavement. The technician told me that the whole pipe had to be replaced and that he has no idea when that will happen. He then got into his National Grid van and took a nap. This is not a joke.”

When technicians returned the following week, they “dropped some large metal plates near the cut outs in the pavement that have been there for well over a month and just drove off,” he said. “If you look in front of the building at 15 Moultrie Street, the holes are still there, surrounded by falling down construction site tape and a few crude markers to prevent someone from parking there. The gas smell is still there day in and day out, and National Grid continues to fail to have a coherent response or ETA on when this will be fixed.”

According to Young, the opening in the sidewalk was backfilled and temporary paving was put in place.

“Three excavations near the curb on Moultrie Street have been secured with plates while we coordinate with NYC DOT for final restoration.”

According to Handschiegel, National Grid returned today to put the metal plates over the holes, but the gas is still leaking.

“I think it is such a large undertaking to fix the problem that they are planning to just let this keep leaking for the foreseeable future. I live nearby and my neighbors and I have constant headaches from the continuous smell of gas,” he said.

About Steph Koyfman

Steph divides her time between writing about stuff happening in 2015 and dancing to jazz-era music. She calls the swanky Newtown Creek waterfront home. Follow her on Twitter: @stephkoyfman

1 Comment

  1. Mike says:

    You think with the danger of an explosion National Grid would actually move on this a little faster. Of course until enough gas builds up under those metal plates and a smoker or a truck from the area ignites it setting of a huge explosion and destroy life and property for a block around it. Naturally National Grid and the city will admit no wrong doing but will vehemently vow to “get to the bottom of this.” Once the news dies down the original negligence will be swept under the table in a sea of bureaucracy so everyone up the chain, execs and politicians, can save their jobs and continue business as usual.

    Reply

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