Displaced Porter Ranch residents unhappy about latest SoCal Gas plan

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SoCal Gas is offering a new home-cleaning option for displaced Porter Ranch residents, but also forcing many to relocate to new, more-distant housing. (KABC)

Porter Ranch residents displaced from their homes by the massive Southern California Gas Co. leak are being forced to relocate once again into new temporary quarters.

And some are angry at what they describe as yet another inconvenience the company has imposed on them - this one putting them farther away from their workplaces and kids' schools.

Denise Ruano used #abc7eyewitness to contact ABC7 after she says she was forced to move out of temporary housing at a hotel in Calabasas. She says SoCal gas refuses to pay another dime of her relocation costs unless she moves into a corporate apartment in downtown L.A, much farther from her kids' school in Northridge.

"That's going to be like three hours to take my kids to school in the morning," Ruano said. "That's ridiculous."

Wanda Nelson also has to move out of her temporary housing at the Marriott hotel in Burbank. She says SoCal Gas demands she also move into a corporate apartment downtown or it won't continue paying her relocation costs. Nelson says the last thing she wants to do is move again.

"I don't know how we are going to do it," Nelson said. "It's about 30 miles from our home so I don't know how we are going to get back and forth to school. In traffic here it's just crazy."

Thousands of Porter Ranch residents were forced to leave their homes during the largest methane gas leak in U.S. at the company's Aliso Canyon storage facility, which lasted almost four months before it was capped in early February.

Even with the leak capped, SoCal Gas has been continuing to pay temporary housing costs because many residents are concerned about lingering health hazards in their homes.

Last week the company offered people staying in hotels the option of moving into corporate apartments in Burbank but it says the apartments were snapped up fast. The company says those who didn't take advantage of the offer were offered corporate housing elsewhere.

A company spokesman acknowledged that residents are in a difficult situation.

"This is a very unfortunate situation with these folks and we're really sorry they find themselves into that situation," said SoCal Gas spokesman Mike Mizrahi.

On Friday, SoCal Gas announced another option for residents. The company is willing to pay for a thorough interior home cleaning for displaced residents who wish to return home now.

"We recognize that many residents remain relocated because they continue to have questions about the effects of dust and indoor air in their homes," said Gillian Wright, SoCal Gas vice president of customer services.

"We are pleased to offer this toxicologist-approved home cleaning service to address residents' concerns and give them confidence that their homes are clean and ready for their return."

The company is beginning to contact residents, but said those who are looking for more information can call (888)314-7645.
Related Topics:
newsporter ranch gas leakPorter RanchLos AngelesSan Fernando Valley
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