Some NW Dallas residents return home as Atmos crews continue fixing gas lines

Arson investigators did their last sweep of the Northwest Dallas home where a 12-year-old girl died in an explosion. The home has now been released back to Linda ‘Michellita’ Rogers’ family.

Much of the neighborhood is still without gas service but some residents like Jose Gonzales have been allowed to return to their nearby apartment complex.

“There’s nothing like being at home,” he said. “I really don’t like staying at hotels that long.”

Gonzalez and his family barely had time to pack a bag when they were told to evacuate weeks ago. They’ve been staying at the Lorenzo Hotel near Downtown Dallas ever since.

In another part of the complex, Natalie Gonzalaz and her family are happy to be home as well after a hasty evacuation.

“We were coming home, and that's when a police officer stopped us and they said we couldn't come back in, so we couldn't take out anything. And then they just told us to leave,” she said.

They were stuck sharing one car between three people because their other family vehicle was parked in the evacuation zone.

The family also stayed at the Lorenzo, doubling their commute times to work and school.

“Just having to come all the way over here back and then go all the way over there again, it's just too much,” said Natalie.

The familiarity of being back home is not without its worries.

“Even now I still don't feel comfortable just because they're working right next to my apartment,” said Jose. “I just went to go talk to them, they say they wouldn't let me back in if it wasn't safe so we'll see how it goes.”

Atmos Energy initially said the job of renovating gas lines in the area would last up to three weeks. Saturday marked 9 days since that announcement. As of Friday, service to more than 180 homes has been restored. 2,600 homes are still without natural gas. Atmos has one information center open during regular business hours next week at the Walnut Hill Recreation Center.

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