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Crews near end of work to restore natural gas service to building at Marine Drive Apartments

A 10-day ordeal that left one of the buildings at the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority’s Marine Drive Apartments without gas for cooking is coming to an end, according to the BMHA.

The agency said Monday that contractors have begun restoring natural gas service in the 88-unit Driftwood building and that most residents were expected to have their service back Monday night or Tuesday.

However, some stoves – believed to be a small percentage deemed “operationally deficient” – will have to be replaced by tenants, the authority said. Tenants are responsible for purchasing their own stoves, but the BMHA maintenance staff will install the new appliances, the Housing Authority said.

The BMHA will have a better handle on how many new stoves are needed after service is restored and a final safety inspection is done, BMHA officials said.

Natural gas was turned off in the Driftwood building June 11 after a tenant smelled gas.

Six major valves were replaced, and the gas was turned back on June 14. But within hours, the BMHA got reports that the gas smell was still there.

Gas was again shut off, and a full assessment of gas lines and stoves in the building began.

While natural gas service was restored to the laundry room Friday, allowing tenants to again use the clothes dryers, gas service into individual apartments remained off while the BMHA continued an apartment-by-apartment assessment of gas lines and stoves in the 88 apartments.

The BMHA provided pizza to tenants one night last week and then, over the weekend, offered food vouchers allowing low-income tenants to obtain hot meals in the Marina Market. A total of 162 meal vouchers were redeemed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the BMHA said. Dinner vouchers were again offered Monday.