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

Sergio Conner
October 11, 2018

Of that million they estimate that approximately 700,000, or 70%, of those customers, could lose their gas supply.

Enbridge says the explosion happened after one of its natural gas pipelines suffered a rupture around 5:45 p.m.

The damaged Enbridge pipeline connects to the Northwest Pipeline system, which feeds Puget Sound Energy in Washington State and Northwest Natural Gas in Portland.

They say there are no injuries and no reported damage other than to the pipeline itself.

Stout urged another 300,000 customers in the Okanagan and southeastern B.C., to conserve even though their natural gas comes from Alberta.

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

The explosion shut down the Enbridge natural gas pipeline about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George. "They're going to monitor and oversee the company's response to the incident, and they're going to determine the impact and extent of the fire and release", Neufeld said.

The rupture occurred on a natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge about 13.5 kilometres from Prince George on Tuesday evening, Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes said in an emailed statement.

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"When we were outside, I could feel the debris fall in my hair", he said.

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

"Turn your thermostats down as low as possible, obviously that depends on the region you're in what you can do, minimize the use of hot water if you've got a gas water heater, turn off your fireplace".

Some gas is still being brought in from Alberta across the southern Interior. "So we are asking everybody to chip in", said Stout. "The most significant impact right now is what we are doing in terms of precautions", said B.C. Minister of Energy Michelle Mungall.

Enbridge continues to investigate the cause of the explosion.

Fortis BC has asked any customers who use natural gas across the province to turn off their thermostats and reduce the use of all other natural gas appliances.

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.

Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Homebuilders Association, said considering natural gas is the most affordable energy available, builders lean heavily toward building new homes that use it.

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