News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Arlington city officials cancel town hall intended to discuss Atmos pressure outages in December

Cobblestone marquis holds a black silhouette of a deer and the phrase "Deer Valley." The rectangular marquis and the obelisk behind it hold wreaths for the holiday season.
Kailey Broussard
/
KERA News
As many as 224 households were left without gas pressure Dec. 22-23, 2022, in Arlington and Grand Prairie. Neighborhoods like Arlington's Deer Valley want answers.

Arlington city officials called off a town hall meeting with utility provider Atmos Energy after more than 200 homes — and even more in Grand Prairie — were left without enough pressure to heat homes and stoves in late December.

District 3 council member Nikkie Hunter said in a Facebook message to Deer Valley residents that Atmos Energy refused to participate in a town hall, but agreed to a private meeting between the company, the city and up to two residents.

Jay Warren, a city spokesperson, said "scheduling conflicts" got in the way of the town hall.

"We felt it was best to cancel it at this time," Warren said.

Warren said the city has not received more information about the outage Christmas week, but remains in constant contact with Atmos.

Hunter previously said she wanted to provide a platform for residents in the Deer Valley, Glenn Meadows and La Frontera neighborhoods to receive answers. She originally planned the town hall for early February at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center St.

"They deserve to have answers," Hunter previously told KERA News. "They deserve to know if this is going to happen again."

A representative from Atmos Energy did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.

Multiple local and state representatives have called for transparency after Arlington and Grand Prairie neighborhoods were left without pressure.

The Texas Railroad Commission opened an investigation into the outage at the request of Gov. Greg Abbott.

State Rep. Chris Turner, whose district covers parts of both cities, issued a letter supporting the investigation.

"As a result of Atmos' inability to provide sufficient natural gas, both the cities of Grand Prairie and Arlington had to take emergency measures and open warming stations for residents who were unable to heat their homes. Both cities, as well as my office, scrambled to keep residents up to date as best we could, given that we were working with fairly limited information ourselves," the letter read.

In a letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton, Abbott said the company did not communicate problems during calls with the Texas Energy Reliability Council during the cold snap.

An Atmos Energy spokesperson said in a previous response to KERA News inquiry that the company is committed to addressing the issues.

"That is not acceptable. And though we worked to restore service as quickly and safely as possible, we apologize for that service disruption," the statement read.

Got a tip? Email Kailey Broussard at kbroussard@kera.org. You can follow Kailey on Twitter @KaileyBroussard.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Kailey Broussard is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). Broussard covers the city of Arlington, with a focus on local and county government accountability.