‘We were down to 55;’ temperatures plunge as Chesterfield residents lose heat

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va.  -- Chesterfield homeowners knew it was going to be cold outside when they woke up Tuesday morning.

What they weren't expecting was for their homes to be chilly as well.

"We were down to 55 degrees," said Ty Doyle, who lives in the Eagle Cove Subdivision in Southern Chesterfield County.

Almost 200 Columbia Gas customers had their propane gas log flames dwindle and their pilot lights go out.

"When they came here to this site, to monitor how it was operating, they realized we had a problem," said Bob Innes with Columbia Gas of Virginia.

Residents get their propane from a tank farm in their subdivision, which on the coldest day of the year, had a problem around daybreak.

"We lost pressure from the system, which then did not allow the customers to get the gas into their home," Innes said.

Homeowners scrambled to find ways to stay warm and to supplement the heat in their homes.

"Thank goodness for our fireplace, my heater, my blanket, my coffee and my long underwear," Anne Thomason said.

The low pressure forced Columbia Gas of Virginia to send workers to each home, to shut off the gas while the system was being repaired, and then go back to the homes to turn the valve on and make sure homeowners were able to light their pilot lights.

"Coldest day of the year, that's kind of strange time isn't it, but that's what it is and when you can't fix it yourself, it's very frustrating,"  Joan Abernathy said.