Southwest Gas still working to return gas to remaining homes

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Natural gas outages in Tucson and Sierra Vista plunged thousands of homes into cold temperatures over the weekend.  Southwest Gas says it is making good progress toward getting everyone back on line.

Southwest Gas utility trucks began heading out to the last remaining houses without heat Monday.

"Now we're doing what we call our second pass, making a second attempt to make contact with that customer because we do have to enter the home to complete the restoration," said Southwest Gas representative Libby Howell.

And some of the homes visited Monday are going to require a third visit, because the owners still were not home, but some residents were home and very happy.

"They seemed to do a proficient job in turning it on," said a Southwest Gas customer.

But many customers want to know why it happened, "I still don't know the root cause of why we did not have gas for a few days."

Southwest Gas has offered explanations.

"The interstate pipeline company that delivers gas to this area was slammed.  They had peak demand coming at them from every direction," said Howell.  "Plus the producers in the Texas area has their own weather related events getting gas out of the ground, so it was really a domino effect."

Howell went on to explain why some areas lost gas and others didn't.  "The areas that were out were Rita Ranch and eastern foothills are at the end of the system, so they're at the very end where they would experience a very low pressure situation first."

Out of the 14,000 without gas last Thursday, 1200 remain as of Monday evening. 

And even Southwest Gas is happy it's been a lot warmer than last week.