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(UPDATE 7:08 p.m.) MANSFIELD — Repairs are still underway in the Lexington and Mansfield area following a mechanical failure on a gas line on Saturday.

Crews from Columbia Gas worked throughout the day on Sunday to make repairs necessary for restoring gas service in the Lexington area. That work will continue throughout the evening.

According to Dave Rau, communications manager for Columbia Gas, crews expect to begin restoring gas service on Monday. 

"It’s not possible to forecast when employees will reach a particular home," Rau said. "However, crews will make repeated passes through the area to reach all customers.

"If customers won’t be at home on Monday, we ask that they consider making arrangements with a neighbor or leaving contact information on their door. Otherwise, we will be available to restore service when they return."

Rau also noted a warming center established at the Lexington Senior Civic Center at 67 E. Main Street in Lexington for customers to warm up has been closed due to no customers taking advantage of the service. The warming center will be reopened if needed. 

A gas leak was reported at a small pump station on Saturday afternoon before 1 p.m. at the southwest corner of U.S. 42 and Hanley Road in Richland County.

Columbia Gas reported that gas was turned off at 3 p.m. on Saturday, affecting approximately 1,000 customers in Lexington whose natural gas service was interrupted. An evacuation order put in place was lifted as of Saturday evening.

"We were able to get all customers affected turned off last night so we were able to then begin repairs," said Bill Loomer, a media representative for Columbia Gas. "Barring any problems we anticipate being able to start restoration and relights tomorrow so there is going to be another full day of customers without service."

Dave Rau, communications manager for Columbia Gas, said repairs will last well into Sunday evening. Residents affected by the service interruption will start hearing from Columbia Gas employees starting tomorrow. 

"Tomorrow during the day, assuming things continue according to plan, we'll be going to each and every home to restore service," Rau said. "That will be during daylight hours and continue into the evening." 

Restoration of service requires Columbia Gas crews to access impacted customers’ homes and businesses to complete a safety inspection and relight appliances. This could take approximately 30 minutes per home. Impacted customers need to be advised of the following:

• By law and for safety reasons, only Columbia Gas employees and contractors are capable of restoring service.

• An adult must be present at the home to allow Columbia Gas workers to restore service.

• Impacted customers are advised to keep their porch light on.

• If impacted customers are planning to leave their homes, Columbia Gas asks that contact or access information be left with a neighbor or on the customer’s door so that our crews can gain access to the home to reestablish service.

• Columbia Gas employees and contractors carry photo IDs and will be happy to show them on request.

Customers that have special needs or medical concerns should contact Columbia Gas at 1-800-344-4077.

Reporter Katie Ellington contributed to this story. 

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