Update to vehicle accident causing gas outage in White Salmon/Bingen, Washington and Hood River/Odell, Oregon
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2020, 6:30pm
Media Alert, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, 6:30pm
Natural gas customers in White Salmon-Bingen, Washington and Hood River-Odell, Oregon are experiencing loss of gas service after a vehicle crashed into a district regulator station around 11:50 p.m. Sunday night.
The district regulator is owned by Williams NW Pipeline Company, which provides gas to NW Natural. NW Natural serves about 5,500 customers in the Hood River and White Salmon area. Because of the vehicle accident, the Williams’ gas line has been shut down.
Consequently, NW Natural customers are experiencing a disruption in service since early Monday morning. NW Natural has been at the Williams’ site as they work to bring their system back online. Right now, it’s estimated that NW Natural may be able to start restoring service to its customers in White Salmon on Tuesday. It’s estimated we may begin restoring service to customers in Hood River on Wednesday.
In both cases, service technicians will go to every meter to turn it off. Then, we will reintroduce gas to the system. Then we will go door-to-door to restore service.
Customers do not need to do anything. Customers should not relight their equipment but wait to be contacted by NW Natural. If a customer is not home, we will leave a door hanger with a phone number that they can call to schedule a time that works, typically that same day.
Service restoration is a long process and fortunately outages on the gas system are rare. But the weather forecast shows cold temperatures tonight, which is why NW Natural apologizes for the inconvenience and has brought in extra crews who will be working as quickly as possible to restore service. Many employees have volunteered to give up their holiday vacations to come in and work.
We are also receiving additional assistance from about 40 technicians from other utilities through a mutual assistance program. Customers may see employees wearing badges from NW Natural, Avista, Cascade or Puget Sound Energy. All workers will carry ID when they arrive at customer homes and will follow COVID-19 safety protocols as usual.
NW Natural is also working with partners such as the Red Cross to provide emergency blankets for the most vulnerable this evening. These items will be available to pick up from 10 p.m. to midnight at the Hood River Fire Department: 1785 Meyer Parkway, Hood River, OR, 97031.