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Columbia Gas says 2,200 homes and businesses are without gas -- and, therefore, heat.

Columbia Gas customers in North Ridgeville, including the neighborhoods of Pioneer Ridge and Waterbury; southeastern Elyria; and Eaton Township were affected.

Company spokesman Ray Frank blamed "a disruption of the gas supply" from a supplier's pipeline and said crews have been called in from all over the state to work to restore service. He couldn't say whether the outage was weather related.

Frank says they hope to have gas restored to all customers as quickly as possibly -- some expected to be complete before noon Tuesday.

It is a top priority with temperatures and wind-chills still in dangerous territory.

He also emphasized that if homeowners leave their house, to make sure that they leave behind a note where they may be contacted, since repair crews have to enter each home and business to restart the gas flow.

Crews have broken down the restoration process into two phases. The first phase included shutting off all gas to the impacted homes. The second phase involves crews performing safety checks and relighting service.

Police are working with the Lorain County Emergency Management Agency to set up shelters for affected residents. One such shelter was set up at St. Mary's Hall, 320 Middle Ave., Elyria.

Frank advised homeowners to consider leaving their faucets at a slow trickle, to help prevent freezing pipes. Also, turn off the water to the toilets to prevent the reservoir from freezing.

Any North Ridgeville residents who feel their home is too cold to stay in call police at (440) 327-2191 to receive instructions on where to go.

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