Leak leaves Norfolk apartment building without gas service on Thanksgiving

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — “I was planning on having a big feast,” Nikia Moree told 10 On Your Side. “First time actually at my place for my family.”

Nikia Moree, a resident at Royal Mace Apartments, has a fridge full of food, but nothing she can put on the stove.

“You’ve got to change all your plans for Thanksgiving,” she said.

Property manager Felicia Morris tells 10 On Your Side a gas leak at the Royal Mace apartments forced Virginia Natural Gas to cut off service.

“I had hope it would just be for a few hours,” Moree said. But, that was Monday. By Thursday, service still was not restored.

(WAVY Photo)

Virginia Natural Gas tells 10 On Your Side a leak was discovered on the apartment’s end of the service line. The apartment management company hired a private contractor to fix the problem, but the work is not complete and has yet to be signed off on by a city inspector. It was supposed to happen Wednesday night, according to Morris.

Virginia Natural Gas will not restore service until the city gives the company the green light.

“You wash clothes and you can’t dry them. Go upstairs you can’t turn on the heat, you can’t cook anything. You can even boil water to make the water hot in the bath,” Moree, a mother of two, explained.

Residents, though, are taking the setbacks in stride. Many credit manager Felicia Morris with doing everything she can. Morris says she’s just glad the problem was discovered before a leak turned into something more dangerous.

“I thank god that they shut it off and like I say there were no tragedies or catastrophes. I’m still grateful. I still have my residents. They might be mad at me right now but I still have them all safe,” Morris told 10 On Your Side.

When the problem was still not fixed by Wednesday night, Morris reached out to the Salvation Army for help — and the organization is providing Thanksgiving meals for those who stuck around.

And when nearby restaurant 905 On the Bay heard about the problem this morning, they decided to step up, too.

“I figure you know, we should make them feel better. It feels good to just spend a few hundred dollars and cook for them.” said restaurant owner Yiannis Kokkoris.

He and his staff were already preparing to feed anyone in need for free. So when they heard of the issue at the Royal Mace Apartments, they called down there and offered meals for anyone in need.