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Avista makes new plan after gas outage in Ashland

4,900 hundred customers in Ashland were without gas. It took four to five days for all customers to get their gas back on.

Posted: May 31, 2019 6:33 PM

ASHLAND, Ore-- The Ashland Food Co-Op was making as much food as it could during the gas outage. With one oven and no hot water.

"We definitely had to work together as a team and problem solve quickly" said Tracy Kaisci. She is the Marketing and Education Manager at the Co-Op.  She told me that they had to use propane burners to get hot water. "It helped us keep our hot bar running during the gas outage" said Kaisci. 

Brighton Litjens lives in Ashland. He was one of the 4,900 customers that did not have gas. "I relied heavily on the food that they were making here" said Litjens. He says he went to the Ashland Co-Op for four or five days straight because if was the only food available.

"They went through some tough times" said Brian Taylor. The Gas Operations Manager from Avista. He explained the new process the company has to keep outages like the one before from happening again. "We just need to have better communications" said Taylor.  He says the pipe maintenance, like the one they were doing when the outage happened, needs to happen a couple times a year. So he says more communication will happen within the company. "These valves are buried underground. You don't always have great visibility of the value top down below the ground. So when the crew performed the work the crew really felt like they had done everything as normal and proceeded along with the rest of their day" said Taylor. 

"We are really excited to hear anything that is preventative" said Kaisci.  She says it was something the company could not have expected, but says they had an advantage unlike other restaurants because it is also a grocery store.

"It was tough but we got through it. 4 or 5 days. We made it work" said Litjens. 

Taylor said when this outage happened all work was paused across the Pacific Northwest until they came up with a new plan.

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