Many Northwest Dallas homes still without gas after deadly explosion

It's now been two and a half weeks since a Northwest Dallas home exploded and killed a 12-year-old girl.

Since the explosion, many families have been living without gas service to their homes while Atmos repairs natural gas lines in the area.

Atmos Energy has been accused of being far too reactive initially with a home explosion then gas related fire, prompting little to no action before the deadly home explosion happened. But now, crews have been working around the clock to do what some say should have been done sooner.

Whitney Johnson has been without natural gas for heat, hot water, and stovetop cooking since March 1, six days after the explosion that killed 12-year-old Michellita Rogers.

“That was a tense week because there were the fires, then the explosion,” Johnson said. “All of us were kind of on edge."

But Johnson considers herself one of the fortunate ones.

“If I were on the other side of the imaginary line one house over, I would be really stressed,” she said.

Johnson still doesn't know how many more days she'll have to rely on a slow cooker and microwave to cook her meals. Atmos isn't providing a lot of information.

“I think the hardest thing is not knowing where the end is,” she said. “They haven't started on our alley yet. We really have no idea when it will be turned on."

But Atmos is providing something perhaps more valuable that information: money.

“I think they've overcompensated me,” said resident Joyce Eastin.

For that, Eastin doesn't mind the many days without gas. Instead of using the Atmos compensation for a hotel, many people have been riding things out and saving the money instead.

“Sort of fun to try to make do. Get your water heated up some way, cook without worrying,” Eastin said. “One night, it was very cold.”

But it is all too late for the Rogers family. Many wonder when any of this would have been done if someone had not lost their life in the second explosion in the neighborhood. They hope there will not be another one somewhere else.

“With the little girl killed, that's a huge weight on all of us,” Eastin said.

Atmos originally told residents to expect to be without gas until next Thursday. The company did not say on Tuesday if they are still on track to meet that deadline.

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