No relief for San Marcos mobile home community after gas is shut off for repairs

No gas means no hot water, stoves and laundry

SAN MARCOS, Calif. - An entire mobile home community in San Marcos is dealing with a major problem. Residents at the San Marcos View Estates say they have not been able to shower, cook or even do their laundry because their gas has been shut off for the last three days.

Homeowners tell 10News there is no relief in sight and their homeowners' association has done little to inform them and little to lessen the inconvenience.

Richard Villalobos has to get his family's dinner started on the grill. That is the only way they have managed to eat since the gas was turned off. That is not the only problem. The lack of gas means no water heater and no laundry.  

"They haven't taken a shower, my wife hasn't either. Like I said, I'm the only one who takes a shower with cold water and obviously all our food comes from our grill or microwave," he said.

The Villalobos family is not the only family suffering. Adolfina Calas says she wants some answers.

"We need to know so my kids can take a shower, eat," she said. "Yeah, we don't have a microwave."

Calas says the HOA board has not been forthcoming with residents. 

"They need to be respectful," she said. "We pay our dues. They work for us!"

Several gas leaks forced the homeowners' association at the mobile home park to shut off the gas due to repairs. Those repairs were supposed to be done days ago.

David and Brian Durkee say nothing has been done to inform them of the status of the repairs.

"The first day they were messing with it they left a little note on our mailbox, and they said it would probably be finished up that day. That was last week Wednesday," they said.

10News went looking for management to get some answers about the issue, only to be turned away.

The contractor in charge of the repairs, ASAP Plumbing, says it could take days.

"It's trying to find where that new line ties into the old line, so that could take days, absolutely," a worker said.

Members of the community like Mary Devinka say something needs to be done.

"Get it fixed and tell everyone what's going on," she said.

After 10News went looking for answers, the homeowners association released the following statement through an email, which read in part:

"San Marcos, CA, September 13, 2013.  On Monday, the resident-owners of San Marcos View Estates were advised by their utility contractor that a gas leak of significance had been detected in their community, and an emergency repair was necessary no later than Wednesday.  Written notice was provided to all residents of the community, and repairs took place on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, after the utility contractor completed repairs, and without prior notice, San Diego Gas and Electric required an inspection by the City of San Marcos, which was impossible given the hour. SDG&E made the decision, citing an emergency situation,  to immediately cut off all gas service to San Marcos View Estates. Prior to reconnecting the system, and to the surprise of San Marcos View Estates and SDG&E, a second leak was detected elsewhere in the community, late on Thursday. The leak is presently under investigation, and SDG&E has refused to reconnect service until the second leak is located and repaired. 

While frustrated at this extended disconnection, San Marcos View Estates places the greatest importance on the safety of its residents, and appreciates the hard work of its utility contractor and SDG&E. Upon learning of the extended outage, residents and community staff have gone door to door, checking in on each other and working to arrange temporary shower and cooking facilities.

Ironically, just last week San Marcos View Estates sent a public letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, urging adoption of a plan which would make it easier for utilities like SDG&E to assist manufactured housing communities like San Marcos View Estates, in the replacement of their aging gas systems. At present, it is nearly impossible for manufactured housing communities, with many residents on fixed income, to afford the millions of dollars to replace their gas systems."

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