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Seniors' return delayed by one day

Joe Napsha
| Thursday, May 10, 2012, 5:58 p.m.

Senior citizens living in a North Huntingdon Township nursing home should be able to return to their residence on Thursday, one day later that anticipated.

Cordia Commons at Huntingdon Ridge will need an additional day to clean up and prepare for the approximately 100 residents who were displaced on May 12 as a result of a natural gas leak on the property, said Eileen O'Shaughnessy, vice president of marketing for Juniper Communities.

Workers at Cordia Commons, a subsidiary of Juniper Communities, will have to restock refrigerators that had their power shut off when the gas leak was discovered, and will have to do laundry in anticipation the residents returning, O'Shaughnessy said.

Natural gas service, as well as phone service and electrical power, were restored Monday, O'Shaughnessy said. Before allowing residents to return, Dominion Peoples plans to wait until readings of natural gas are a consistent zero percent over a 48-hour period in and around the building, which is located off Route 30 near the Irwin exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Dominion Peoples said its crews had discovered pockets of trapped natural gas after the line was repaired. Those pockets of natural gas around the nursing home were vented into the air, and the levels of gas were being monitored continuously to ensure no gas remained around the building, the company stated.

The residents will be returned to Cordia Commons beginning Thursday morning in what O'Shaughnessy described as a "staged plan" that will involve staff from its other facilities, as well as emergency personnel. Dominion Peoples has offered to assist in transferring the residents back to the nursing home.

The seniors had been staying at Wellsprings, an Alzheimer's care facility located behind Cordia Commons, and Conley Motor Inn in Irwin. Others stayed with their families.

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