Pipeline explosion has central Minnesota natural gas customers being asked to conserve
Rosemount - Minnesota Energy Resources continues to ask all its customers to conserve their use of natural gas. A rupture in the natural-gas pipeline coming through Winnipeg, Canada, early Saturday morning severely disrupted gas supply throughout the region served by Minnesota Energy Resources.
Conservation efforts requested immediately following the incident are showing positive results, for which the company is grateful.
"Our system is stable at this point, and we are watching closely to ensure safe, reliable service to our customers," said Barb Nick, president. "Customer response to this has been a great help. We still request that customers take measures to conserve without impacting their individual safety."
All Minnesota Energy Resources service areas statewide are affected. The greatest effect is in the area from Thief River Falls through Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids, Wadena and over to Aitkin.
All utilities in the region are sharing information and resources to reduce use on their systems as much as possible. Many industrial and large customers have taken action to reduce their usage of natural gas. Utilities are also asking residential and business customers to consider these specific actions until further notice:
• Avoid use of natural gas appliances.
• Turn down thermostats to 60 degrees, if personal health and safety allow it.
• Use electric space heaters, being careful not to overload circuits.
Safe and reliable gas service is the primary concern during this event. Information on safety and cold weather tips is available on the company's website.
If customers smell gas or suspect a gas leak, they should move to a safe location and contact the Minnesota Energy customer service center at 800-889-4970.