GAS Engineers dealing with the gas-cut crisis in East Barnet have said they have the resources to get every household re-connected by Christmas.

However the difference between a jolly warm Christmas and a miserable freezing one hinges on whether they can pump the remaining water out of the system.

It is also not yet clear if some households, whose meters and boilers have been damaged by the water will get replacements in time.

National Grid engineers have now restored gas supplies to over 1000 properties in East Barnet.

Around 500 homes require reconnecting, as they continue their race against the clock to pump water out of the local gas network.

Meanwhile registered Gas Safe engineers are visiting addresses to replace damaged meters and boilers so households can benefit from the gas as soon as it is pumped back in the system.

Harry Buchanan, National Grid incident controller, said: “We have all the resources we require to get everybody’s gas supplies back on in time for Christmas and our engineers are visiting properties across the area.

“The real challenge continues to be getting the remaining water out of the system.”

Mr Buchanan said he was hopeful that today's rise in temperatures would mean that frozen water within the pipes would not present the problems it did earlier.

However remaining water in the system, especially in low-lying areas, is hampering the reconnection process.

“We are working very hard to get the water out of the system. Our target continues to be getting everyone’s gas back on in time for Christmas and we will do everything we can to make this happen.”

However residents remain incensed by the situation, complaining of poor communication from National Grid and a rude response at the organisation's control centre in St Mary's School, Little Grove.

Karen Messer, 56, from Doggetts Close, is recovering from an operation and has a disabled daughter.

“We're desperate, we're freezing and have been given just one blow heater. We're eating our dinner in bed, it's ridiculous,” she said, adding that she was scared to use her heater too much as she was a single parent and was unsure she could afford the electricity bills.

She added: “Every time we go down to St Mary's we're not allowed through the door and we can't find anyone to talk to.

Mrs Messer, who works at Barnet Hospital, was sceptical that her supply would be returned by tomorrow.

“I can tell you categorically that won't happen. They're lying. We want to know why they're not ordering the boilers and stuff ready.”

A National Grid spokeswoman said that was what was happening.

Many residents remain unhappy at the service they have received.

Have you been affected? Do you think National Grid are doing a good job or could do better? Leave a comment in the box below.