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Avista: Ashland natural gas outage due to partially closed valve during routine maintenance

Avista still estimates that crews will have natural gas restored to Ashland residents by the end of the day on Friday.

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 11:53 PM
Updated: Mar 21, 2019 11:51 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. —

March 21 11:45 p.m. UPDATE: Avista says some customers may not see service returned until Saturday.

The president of Avista said in an emailed statement, "We understand this situation is inconvenient for our customers, and we want to assure them that we are working as quickly, efficiently and safely as we can to restore their natural gas service."

March 21, 2019 7:06 PM UPDATE: A natural gas outage that has left thousands of Ashland residents and businesses bereft of gas began during "routine valve maintenance" when the valve was left partially closed, according to the latest update from Avista.

"This resulted in an under-pressurization to downstream customers — a condition that does not, in and of itself, present an imminent safety concern," the company said. "Avista’s focus has been to ensure that the re-pressurization of the system, and the re-light of customer equipment, is accomplished as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible."

Crews from Avista and pulled from elsewhere in the area are still working to relight natural gas service for thousands of customers. According to Avista, the company just added 14 more workers to the efforts, bringing the total number of personnel to 49.

"As crews make their way from property to property to relight, customers can help with the process," Avista said, providing the following tips:

 - To ensure crews are able to complete each relight, customers should make sure gates are unlocked so each meter can be accessed to safely restore gas service.

 - If there is a dog in the yard, customers should make sure it’s properly secured either in the home or kenneled outside.

 - An adult will also need to be available to let the service person inside. If the service person is unable to complete the relight, a note will be left at the door inviting customers to call Avista to come back to complete the relight. This may delay the full restoration.

For the latest updates on Avista's progress, visit their website here or see the relight map below.

(Updated 3/21/19 at 4:50 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: Avista crews have released an updated timeline for when Ashland customers affected by the natural gas outage could see their service restored.

Crews hope to have every customer's service restored by the end of the day on Friday. They worked until 11 p.m. on Wednesday to relight service. They'll resume relighting again at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

See the map for the broken down timeline for each region, and when they could see the gas restored.

Avista brought in crew members from around the region to fix the outage, and says 35 service personnel are focused on customer relights. 

Avista said in a news release, "We understand this is an inconvenience and appreciate the patience and cooperation of our customers. The safety of our customers, communities and employees is our primary goal."

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