Residents of Tom Cat Trail — Pine Hill Brock Road off Highway 1305 in London, suddenly found themselves without natural gas August 5. Twelve homes noticed, without warning, that their gas lines had been turned off. One resident, Tammy McFadden, said it wasn't until 5 p.m. the following day that her gas came back on.
"About all we know is that K Petroleum doesn't want to provide us with gas service anymore. They're turning gas off I believe on the 17th of September," said McFadden. K Petroleum Inc. is a gas company out of Gahanna, Ohio. They operate the Pine Hill Brock Road gas lines.
According to a letter sent to Pine Hill Brock Road residents at the end of August, gas services will be terminated on Sept. 17 due to a "lack of supply" in their gas line. This same letter advised residents to secure an alternative fuel source by that date.
According to Greg Coker, spokesperson for Delta Natural Gas Company Inc., the decision to end service on Tom Cat Trail was K Petroleum's decision.
"Delta Natural Gas transports the gas for KPI (K Petroleum)," said Coker. "K Petroleum has natural gas in one location. They need to have that natural gas in another location to serve these 12 customers of theirs. So they use Delta Natural Gas to transport that natural gas from point A to point B. Once it gets to point B, then KPI takes that gas back and delivers it to the end customer. It was a KPI decision, as far as we understand, to no longer serve those customers. That wasn't our decision."
McFadden stressed that Delta Gas has offered total cooperation to Tom Cat Trail residents.
"Delta Gas has went out of their way to try to see if it is something that they are able to do. We are hoping they are trying to take over the old gas line and send us gas to get us by until new lines are run and can sign on lots of new customers," she explained.
Tom Cat Trail residents have relied on the gas lines for energy for at least 25 years and continue to rely them.
"[Losing the gas lines are] a huge expense that not everyone can afford," McFadden continued. "Winter is just around the corner. Some of us have to install a whole new heat system due to the age of our current system."
McFadden's family alone relies on three gas furnaces, a hot water heater, a gas dryer and a gas stovetop. To ensure the homes of herself and everyone else on Tom Cat Trail can continue to be supplied with energy, McFadden started a petition requesting Delta Gas to provide fuel for her community.
"Delta thinks that if there's enough interest, they're going to look at it and see if it's sustainable for them to provide gas," said McFadden. "The more people to sign the petition the greater our chances of getting Delta Gas to help us."
Those interested in signing the petition can contact Tammy or Jimmy McFadden at their office, the Cumberland Cash Register, on 79 Pine Hill Brock Road in London.
The Sentinel-Echo reached out to K Petroleum for a comment, but at the time of publication received no response.