Residents of the Siler Homes public housing development in east Flagstaff were forced to relocate Friday after a routine inspection discovered “numerous small underground leaks” in the community's gas line.
As of Friday evening the city was still unsure as to the extent of the problem, but according to city housing director Sarah Darr, surrounding neighborhoods and buildings outside the Siler Homes community are unaffected.
To understand the extent of the issue, however, the city has had to turn off the community’s gas line, leaving the houses essentially uninhabitable with no heat and no hot water, Darr said.
They have also had to turn off the water as to prevent pipes from freezing without heat.
Because of this, the city had to relocate the 98 families who live in the community to hotel rooms around town, which, with the three-day weekend, has not been easy, Darr said.
Some families have also gone to live with other family members who live in Flagstaff.
“Our goal of course is to return people to their homes [as soon as possible],” Darr said.
She added that the contractors that have been working with the city on the issue agreed to work through the holiday weekend to try to fix the leaks as soon as possible.
That said, Darr was hesitant to give any kind of an exact date for when residents might be able to move back. Once the city has a better picture of what the issues are however, gas could be restored for sections of the community allowing residents to move back home.
As residents will not be living there over the weekend, police officers and a private security company will be onsite, according to a city press release.
The city anticipates that additional information will be available the middle of next week.