SOU students affected by natural gas outage

Southern Oregon University sign (News 10)

As if being a college student wasn't stressful enough, some Southern Oregon University students are among the 4,500 affected by Avista's natural gas outage in Ashland.

While SOU senior Jade Mahoe lives in off-campus housing, she said her classmates are struggling.

"I know several people who live on-campus that are affected and people who live off-campus that are being affected by this," Mahoe said. "I think that's really concerning because that's, one, a safety hazard and, two, that's just really inconvenient."

Even without the stress of school, Mahoe said it would be hard doing everyday things.

"I really can't imagine not having gas, because all of the basic necessities that you need, like to cook your food and like do your laundry, you don't get that," Mahoe said.

Options off the SOU campus have also been limited, as many downtown Ashland restaurants and businesses struggled to stay open without gas.

"If you try to go off somewhere else in Ashland to eat or do all of those things, those businesses won't have that available to you either, so you really kind of just stuck," Mahoe said.

Posting on their social media, SOU housing said the university's dining halls had limited options to serve students.

"Some food options won't be available because of the gas that they need to cook the food, so I know it's kind of a hassle for some people who look forward to eating here and don't have all of those options available to them," Mahoe said.

Avista Utilities issued a statement Tuesday which said:

Avista has deployed all available natural gas crews in the Ashland area as well as additional natural gas crews from across its service area to expedite the restoration process. Crews will work as quickly and as safely as possible until all customers are restored.

"I don't think that's ever happened before in Ashland, so this might be something that not all of us were not prepared for," Mahoe said.

Other schools in the Ashland School District are also experiencing effects of the outage. District officials sent a message to families that they will be serving cold lunches Wednesday and are encouraging students to wear layers as classrooms may be colder than usual.

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