Storm preparations underway as Piedmont advises customers on how to manage storm-related damage to natural gas equipment and appliances
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Piedmont Natural Gas today announced the activation of its Severe Weather Preparedness Plan in response to Hurricane Irma, and has issued a list of safety recommendations for customers who experience flooding or any other damage to their natural gas equipment or appliances as the result of Hurricane Irma.
"The safety of our customers, our communities and our employees is our top priority, and we're taking all necessary steps to make sure our facilities and our customers are prepared for Hurricane Irma," said Frank Yoho, executive vice president and president, natural gas business for Piedmont Natural Gas. "We know many of our customers in the Carolinas and Tennessee may be facing destruction and loss of property. Our commitment is to support them with the continued safe and reliable operation of our natural gas system."
Piedmont's Severe Weather Preparedness Plan includes ensuring the availability of additional communication links and resources, adequately fueled vehicles for use by Piedmont personnel in impacted areas, the availability of appropriate equipment in the potential impact areas, and the preparation of its facilities for potentially high winds and flood conditions.
Piedmont has released the following recommendations for customers whose natural gas equipment or appliances become damaged or submerged in flood waters:
If water has entered your home:
- 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. Call Piedmont for an assessment.
- Never use outdoor equipment indoors for cooking or heating. This includes natural gas grills, generators, etc.
If your natural gas appliances are damaged by water:
- Natural gas appliances damaged by water may need to be replaced according to manufacturer guidelines and instructions.
- When choosing a contractor for repair or replacement of your natural gas appliances, make sure the contractor is licensed, committed to safety and follows all manufacturer safety guidelines.
- You can choose to work with Piedmont Natural Gas, one of our approved Gas Advantage Dealers, or any other licensed contractor to repair or replace damaged appliances.
- View a list of Piedmont's Gas Advantage Dealers.
- Note that unauthorized repairs can be unsafe and may void your warranty according to manufacturer guidelines.
- Call your appliance manufacturer if you are unsure that the work being performed is an approved repair.
If you suspect a natural gas leak (natural gas smells like rotten eggs):
- Leave the premises immediately.
- Call Piedmont Natural Gas at 800.752.7504 or dial 911.
- Call from a neighbor's house or from another location far from the smell of natural gas.
- DO NOT use anything electrical that may create a spark; this includes cellphones.
- DO NOT operate any light switches.
- DO NOT light a match.
- DO NOT attempt to locate the source of the leak.
- DO NOT attempt to stop the leak.
- DO NOT return to the area until Piedmont Natural Gas or the emergency services have declared the area safe.
- DO NOT attempt to operate pipeline valves yourself. You may inadvertently cause more danger or additional damage.
- DO NOT attempt to extinguish a natural gas fire.
- If you see or suspect damage to natural gas lines or facilities due to uprooted trees or wind-related damage, call Piedmont Natural Gas at 800.752.7504 or call 911.
Call 811 before you dig:
- Call 811 to have your natural gas lines located and marked (for free) before you remove uprooted trees, rebuild storm-damaged structures or dig anywhere on your property.
Customers with immediate questions or concerns should call Piedmont Natural Gas at 800.752.7504. Additionally, customers can also visit the company's website at piedmontng.com for additional information and storm-related updates.
Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas, a North Carolina corporation, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than a million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont provides a foundation for establishing a broader strategic natural gas infrastructure platform within Duke Energy to supplement and complement the previous natural gas pipeline investments and the natural gas business located in the Midwest.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
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