CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Hurricane season is officially here and Piedmont Natural Gas is urging customers to follow a few simple tips to stay safe if their natural gas equipment or appliances are damaged or flooded due to severe weather.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, June 1 through Nov. 30. The NOAA forecast calls for nine to 15 named storms of which four to eight could become hurricanes. Of those, two to four could become major hurricanes.
“Flooding is typically the greatest storm-related risk to natural gas equipment and appliances, and we want to make sure our customers know how to stay safe this hurricane season,” said Keith Napier, director of natural gas operations for Piedmont Natural Gas. “Following a hurricane or any other severe weather event, Piedmont will be there to support its customers and to deliver reliable, safe natural gas service.”
With safety as its No.1 priority, Piedmont developed a Severe Weather Safety Bulletin to keep customers safe in the event of flooding or water damage, including what to do if water has entered your home, your natural gas appliances have been damaged by water or you suspect a natural gas leak.
In response to flooding, Piedmont crews will respond to affected neighborhoods to inspect natural gas meters for signs of submersion. Any meter believed to have been submerged will be removed and natural gas service will be turned off. Customers will be notified to have their natural gas appliances inspected for safe operation by Piedmont Natural Gas or another licensed contractor before service can be restored.
Piedmont’s Severe Weather Safety Bulletin, available at piedmontng.com/severe-weather, offers comprehensive safety information, including the following tips for residents affected by flooding:
- Do not attempt to disconnect or work on or around your natural gas meter.
- Do not attempt to relight any of your natural gas appliances. Call Piedmont at 800.752.7504 so we can inspect your meter and your natural gas appliances for possible damage.
- Do not attempt to clear flood debris from your natural gas meter or from any other natural gas appliance, including your water heater.
- Never use outdoor equipment indoors for cooking or heating. This includes natural gas grills, generators, etc.
- If you smell the rotten egg odor of natural gas and suspect a leak, leave the premises immediately, and do not use a cellphone or anything electrical that can cause a spark inside your home.
- Once outside and away from the smell of natural gas, use your cellphone or a neighbor’s phone to call Piedmont Natural Gas at 800.752.7504 or dial 911.
If you suspect your meter or natural gas appliances have sustained water damage or if you suspect damage to natural gas lines due to uprooted trees and other wind-related damage, please call Piedmont at 800.752.7504.
About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The company also supplies natural gas to power plants. Piedmont is routinely recognized by J.D. Power for excellent customer satisfaction, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media contact: Jennifer Sharpe
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