Franklin residents still without hot water 2 weeks after propane explosion

Posted at 1:29 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 17:28:45-04

FRANKLIN, Va. - It's been two weeks since a gas explosion in Franklin left two people seriously injured, and more than 70 homes in the Berkley Court community are still without hot water after the neighborhood's property management company shut off the propane gas.

That means it's been two weeks since those Berkley Court homes have had hot water — an issue one local relief organization is calling an emergency.

Volunteers with Mercy Chefs are packing up microwavable to-go boxes of chicken teriyaki and rice for Berkley Court residents. While those chefs have spent the past few weeks helping feed refugees fleeing Ukraine, they say this is just as important, as they believe hot water is a basic necessity that everyone deserves.

"This is definitely an emergency," one volunteer told News 3. "You need hot water for basic sanitation."

So where does Berkley Court stand two weeks after the blast? According to City Manager Amanda Jarrett, not much has changed.

On Wednesday, Jarrett said Severn Properties selected a third-party company to inspect the gas lines. The gas line inspection still hasn't happened.

That leaves 75 homes without gas and hot water. Neighbors tell us they've been boiling water and showering in their kitchen sinks.

The property management company has set up mobile showers, but they lock at night and don't open again until 6:30 a.m. They also don't appear to be wheelchair accessible.