NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A family of nine in Brooklyn has been without gas since July.
They are among thousands of National Grid customers being used as pawns in a fight over a natural gas pipeline.
Since moving into their new Borough Park home, Chaya Horowitz and her family have been unable to take hot showers, use the stove or even cook basic meals.
What they thought would be their dream home is turning out to be anything but, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reports.
“I thought everything is going to be hunky-dory. We’ll move in, we’ll be able to cook, we’ll be able to bathe, we’ll be able to wash laundry, we’ll be able to do everything, and then all of a sudden we moved in, and I go to the laundromat,” Horowitz said. “We pack our kids into the car every day, we drive over to my in-laws’ house, we bathe them there.”
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Horowitz, her husband and their seven kids moved into the house in July after extensive renovations, during which the gas was shut off. Horowitz called National Grid to get it back on.
“She started yelling, ‘We are not opening this account.’ I said, ‘What do you mean you’re not opening this account? There’s no reason for you not to.’ ‘We are not opening this account. We have a moratorium and we don’t care,'” Horowitz said.
National Grid told Horowitz the same thing they’ve been telling CBS2 — without more natural gas, aka a new pipeline under New York harbor, the company’s hands are tied.
Horowitz says she was even encouraged to call her local senator and push for it.
“As far as if it is or isn’t a good thing, that’s really not my business,” she said. “National Grid wants to have a fight, go fight, I don’t care. They cannot keep all their customers hostage.”
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Horowitz says earlier this month the Department of Buildings checked and approved the condition of her boilers, so there’s no reason she shouldn’t have gas.
As for her children, the youngest — 2 years old — are not getting into bed until after 9 p.m. because cooking and showers take much longer than they would if gas and hot water were an option.
Since CBS2 began demanding answers, 32 customers have had their gas restored and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered an investigation into National Grid.
National Grid declined a sit-down interview, but they say they will look into the Horowitz family’s situation and assist in any way they can.