COPPERAS COVE, Texas: The City of Copperas Cove says gas service is temporarily shut off to the entire city.

Atmos crews are working to fix the problem and will have the gas service back up as soon as possible.

Celina Cardenas, who is the Atmos Energy manager of communications says the restoration process will continue throughout the day and into tomorrow, and affected customers will not have natural gas service during this time. She says crews from across the area are working on the problem and that they will need to access customers’ natural gas meters throughout this process.

The leak has forced several restaurants to close early. Black Meg 43 general manager Michael Speer saw the restaurant suffer as it closed Thursday evening through no fault of their own.

“For a small restaurant like us, we miss out on a dinner rush, we can’t make that back, we’re out the product and we’re out the profit,” Speer said. “Places like Dollar General if they close down they can sell their jeans and their silverware and their posters or whatever. They’re not out any profit. They can still re-sell those items as opposed to a restaurant.”

Fast food places like Panda Express and Chick Fil A met a similar fate. McAllister’s, which sits right behind the other two on Robert Griffin III Drive, was also forced to close around 1 p.m.

“It was very frustrating. We do have a goal that we try to make every day and clearly we did not make that goal due to us closing early,” manager Shaniah Atkins said. “We didn’t get much business but the business we did get we appreciated but it does suck because we do lose all that business and obviously for the store that does suck for the day.”

When natural gas service is restored, an Atmos Energy technician will need to enter each customer’s home to reestablish service. A resident 18 years of age or older will need to be present. If the customer is not at home, a technician will leave a door tag with instructions on how to restore service.

Some businesses expect to be back up and running tomorrow but Atmos has told others they may have to wait till Saturday to reopen.