UBC issues urgent alert, braces for natural gas shortage after pipeline explosion

Elias Hubbard
October 11, 2018

"We sort of trained for it. because of the wildfires", Frederick said of the speedy evacuation.

"Enbridge emergency crews did respond and they have isolated and are finishing the pressurizing of the two natural gas lines in the vicinity to contain this incident and an area was cordoned off".

The utility is asking customers across the province to "avoid non-essential use of natural gas" as it expects a decrease in energy flow and a potential loss of service for up to 700,000 customers.

A pipeline explosion has been confirmed to be the reason for a large fire outside of Prince George.

"Turn down your thermostat if you are in a cold spot".

Chief Dominic Frederick of Lheidli T'enneh First Nation said about 100 people from his community were forced to flee, along with people from a nearby subdivision.

The natural gas shortage itself affects customers throughout British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.

"I could feel the heat through the windows", he said.

An evacuation order had been downgraded Wednesday to the handful of homes near the explosion site.

"This is a unique situation", the Premier said at an unrelated media event in Vancouver on Wednesday.

"I saw the smoke, threw my stuff on, and I thought I was just going to drive and check it out", explains one female witness who was near the scene.

"About 70 per cent of customers could be impacted here", said Douglas Stout, vice-president of external relations with FortisBC.

A pipeline that ruptured and sparked a massive fire north of Prince George, B.C.is shown in this photo provided by Dhruv Desai.

Washington State-based Puget Sound Energy is urging its 750,000 customers to lower their thermostats and limit hot water use at least through Wednesday.

"They had told me there was gas building up in the underground".

Stout said Fortis expected to receive updates on the situation as Transportation Safety Board investigators and National Energy Board inspectors arrived to assess the damage and attempt to determine a cause of the blast.

Motorists beware: gas prices are set to rise across the Pacific Northwest following yesterday's pipeline explosion in Prince George.

The company will update its customers as soon as it is in a position to offer something new, said Stout.

He said they have asked kitchens, which often leave gas running, to shut it down when it's not needed, watch overheating and ensuring water temperature isn't too high.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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