Avista Says Customers Can Return to Normal Usage After Pipeline Explosion

The gas company said that a pipeline failure in Canada forced them to reduce usage in Washington and Oregon.

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 1:15 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. —

UPDATE: Gas utility company Avista says that residential, business and industrial customers in Southern Oregon can return to "normal usage" of natural gas immediately after the Canadian pipeline explosion and resulting shortage on Wednesday.

"For those who purchase natural gas from third-party suppliers, interruptible transportation service curtailment is lifted immediately as well. All natural gas transportation service is under Stage III Overrun Entitlement until further notice," Avista said in a statement.

The company says that customers in Roseburg, Grants Pass, Medford and Ashland were hit hardest by the incident.

"Avista is grateful for the conservation efforts of our customers as the region worked through the natural gas supply disruption," Avista said.

(Updated 10/11/18 at 1:14 p.m.)

INITIAL REPORT: A gas pipeline rupture in Canada has caused Avista Utilities to ask their customers in western Washington and Oregon to reduce their usage, according to a statement from the company issued on Wednesday.

Avista said that utilities throughout the Pacific Northwest are working together to reduce usage on the natural gas system until the issue is resolved.

"It’s important to know that our local gas system is safe and was not damaged by the pipeline failure in Canada," Avista said.

Industrial natural gas customers have been asked to "curtail usage," while residential users have been asked to help conserve natural gas.

"Customers can set their thermostats at a lower setting and limit the use of hot water until further notice," Avista said.

The company has not yet made any indication that they will be forcing residential users to reduce their usage by some means. NewsWatch 12 is attempting to reach out to Avista today for further comment.

The Enbridge pipeline near Prince George, British Columbia experienced an explosion around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the Financal Post. About 100 members of a First Nations tribe living nearby were forced to temporarily evacuate the area.

Prior to the release of a statement to the press, Avista released the following statement to at least one commercial gas customer in Southern Oregon (please note, this was issued to a commercial customer, not a residence):

Dear Avista Customer,

This email is to provide you notice of immediate curtailment.

Last night there was a failure on the interstate pipeline that feeds the Pacific Northwest including southern Oregon. We are experiencing significant pressure problems and are requiring all interruptible customers from Sutherlin to Ashland to discontinue gas usage immediately.

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