Toms River's section of barrier island is expected to be closed to traffic from Dec. 8 to 18 as New Jersey Natural Gas crews make "critical" repairs to their system that will lead to service restoration for some by the end of the month.
Crews are prepared to re-activate gas service on the island but must follow a protocol to charge the lines before any sources of ignition -- vehicles included -- can enter the area, according to a statement on the Toms River Township website.
Once gas lines in the area are re-actived, another team will begin installing meters. When meters are installed and electricity has been restored, a qualified technician who has determined the gas equipment is safe may restore service to the property, according to NJNG.
Natural gas service is expected to be restored by the end of December to "all of our customers whose homes have not sustained such major damage that we cannot safely restore their service," a spokesperson for the utility said.
Customers who smell gas are advised to leave the building, refrain from using matches, cell phones or electrical switches and are asked to call 1-800-GAS-LEAK.