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Businesses in Foster-Powell and Lents neighborhoods on second day without gas

Gas leak closes Foster Road in SE Portland - Photo by Reed Andrews, KATU News.jpg

Northwest Natural is working to restore service to 170 customers in the Foster-Powell and Lents neighborhoods after a gas leak Tuesday evening.

To a small local business, just losing one day could be crippling.

"We definitely lost business today, a lot of people during lunchtime," said Lucero Brambila Pelayo, who works at her mother's restaurant, Taqueria el Cazador.

A construction crew hit a gas main right outside their restaurant. While Northwest Natural crews investigated the leak, PGE also shut off electricity to neighbors and surrounding businesses for several hours.

All day Wednesday, their chairs and tables stayed empty.

"The staff were just a little bit like what do you do, where do you go from here, how do we handle the situation?" Said Cindy Page, the general manager of Zoiglhaus Bewing Company.

The brewery is a few streets over from Taqueria el Cazador, and it caught customers and employees by surprise.

"People had to use the flashlights on their phone to go to the bathroom, which isn't ideal," said Page.

She says they've lost about $300 worth of business, but it served as a learning opportunity on disaster preparedness. Power was restored, but no gas means no business for Taqueria el Cazador.

"It's kind of frustrating for everybody, for even a little bit. It's not really like you're mad but it's an 'oh, man a missed opportunity,'" said Brambila Pelayo. "I think they're just a little frustrated because it's like their go to spot."

Especially on "Taco Tuesdays."

Brambila Pelayo says her family has been running this business for 13 years, and hopes its loyal customers will understand.

"[Northwest Natural] said it's not safe to open yet, so that's the only thing we're waiting on. We're ready," she said.

Northwest Natural says crews have to go to customers individually to restore service; it hopes to get it all restored by morning.

OSHA is investigating. Usually when something like this happens, they have 180 days to figure out if the employee violated safety or health rules, which could end in a citation or a penalty.


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