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Port A's natural gas outage causes major inconvenience for restaurants

Sunday afternoon, gas crews shut down all of the 1,900 meters throughout the city.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Friday, March 17, the city of Port Aransas informed residents of a major natural gas outage affecting residents and businesses.

The outage was caused by a mechanical issue affecting offshore gas wells, according to an update on the city's website from Port Aransas city manager David Parsons.

Over the weekend, city leaders said they have made several attempts at restoring the gas service. By Sunday afternoon, gas crews completed a 100 percent shutdown of 1,900 meters throughout the city.

3NEWS was there and heard from restaurants who have dealing with this major inconvenience.

Kip Shannon, owner of The Gaff in Port A, said she has never seen anything like this. 

"I've been here for over 18 years, never seen the gas go out," Shannon said.

Albino Garcia, Executive Chef and General Manager of Trout Street Bar & Grill said this couldn't have happened at a worse time.

"We're doing the best we can to make it through this tragedy with no gas. We have customers coming in and out because they don't know it's that cold,” Garcia said. “And they don't want cold food, but you know we try to stay open the best we can with the spring breakers here."

His limited menu is what's keeping Garcia’s restaurant afloat.

"We also had to start boiling water so we could make our dishwasher keep going the right temperature," Garcia said. "Everything's washed well, so it's been a struggle for sure." 

But for other restaurant owners, like Shannon, the inconvenience has brought him more business.

"Usually, we're on the other end when the electricity goes out. But this a first for me. We've entertained the idea of possibly going to gas, but fortunately our ovens are so old, they're still electric,” Shannon said. “So, it’s just one of those flukes."

A fluke that's been bringing in a lot of hungry residents and visitors to Shannon’s business since the outage Friday. 

“I'm glad we were able to feed people," Shannon said.

Brett Stawar with the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce sent us this statement:

I can tell you it’s been devastating on our small businesses during the last big weekend of spring break. Especially the delicate timing of rebooting with the gas companies and safety measures. We were all at the mercy of a very unpredictable situation. The only positive situation was that prior to Friday, we were having a strong week of economic impact through tourism.

We reached out to the city, but they are closed on the weekend.

The Port Aransas city manager made a statement after 4 p.m. Sunday, stating that city crews are still in the purging stages of removing air from the system and unfortunately won't be able to get meters back on until after dinner time.

Parsons said crews are working on turning services back on first thing Monday morning.

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