Miss. town getting natural gas after long outage

ACKSON, Miss. (AP) — People in a struggling Mississippi Delta town will soon have natural gas service after six months of heating bath water on electric stoves or cooking on hot plates because the town failed to pay its gas supplier for years.

Utility crews are restoring service in Winstonville this week just as the first blast of wintry air is moving across the rural flatlands.

Willie Wilson, 66, said he’s looking forward to soaking under a good, hot shower. The semi-retired car salesman said Thursday that life without natural gas has been inconvenient for him and his wife: “I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.”

The town of 191 residents accumulated $611,718 in unpaid bills over 15 years to a natural gas supplier, Texas Gas Transmission. Residents were paying their bills, but for years the municipal gas system was not paying the supplier, said Cory Horton, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.