Thanksgiving plans change during natural gas outage

West Side residents forced to adjust during the outage and service restoral
Thanksgiving plans are changing for some West Side residents during the natural gas outage in Charleston.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:35 PM EST
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As of mid-Monday afternoon, Mountaineer Gas announced roughly 825 customers have had their natural gas service restored, but it does not mean things are back to normal for everyone.

Kathia Martinez is one West Side resident in that situation. She said her service was restored on Sunday.

“It felt like [the gas outage] was never going to end, to tell you the truth, and then the smell of gas. Oh, man, the smell of gas was horrible when we came home and they were trying to fix our heat to come back, the gas smell was so bad,” she recalled Monday. “It gave me a headache. I had a headache for two days, my stomach was hurting, my daughter had a headache. It was just the smell.”

This week presents a new challenge for Martinez: getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday without some essential appliances.

“My stove still is not working,” she explained. “Normally I cook a lot, big bake, cook all kinds of everything, but I’m not going to be able to do that this year. I already texted my older kid. I said, ‘I’m not going to be able to do Thanksgiving like I used to’ ... and I feel kind of bad about it because I normally have two days before Thanksgiving and I start like a Tuesday night. I will start, and I won’t be able to do everything like I normally do.”

Though dishes may be cooked differently, the meaning of the holiday will remain the same.

“I feel better that we have our heat back. I’m glad for that but I’m also, you know, kind of sad. I can’t really do things Thanksgiving like I normally do, but I am grateful for my heat. I’m always grateful and thankful for everything,” she said. “I’m just grateful that I even have a roof over my head, to be warm, and the little electric skillets I have to make the little bit of stuff that I can make. Thanks to God, we had everything we needed to get us through this crisis. ”

There are some other modified Thanksgiving plans around the West Side for those feeling the effects of the outage.

Keep Your Faith Corporation is hosting their annual Thanksgiving Dinner from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at West Virginia Health Right, located at 511 Central Avenue on Charleston’s West Side.