Piedmont Natural Gas system operating safely after tornado destroys parts of Nashville and surrounding counties

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  • Utility reminds storm victims: Smell natural gas? Get out fast! Call 911.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Piedmont Natural Gas today said its pipeline system in Tennessee is operating safely and normally, despite extensive tornado damage to Nashville and surrounding areas. Piedmont has been working closely with customers who have damaged property.

“Immediately after the tornado passed through, we quickly mobilized crews to respond to customer calls of suspected natural gas leaks in homes or businesses as a result of the storm,” said Piedmont Natural Gas Senior Vice President Sasha Weintraub. “In the coming days, we will continue to work closely with customers and local authorities to ensure affected communities remain safe during the cleanup period.”

Piedmont fielded more than 200 calls Tuesday, mostly from customers in homes and businesses located directly in the tornado’s path. All available Piedmont crews responded immediately to shut off natural gas service to destroyed buildings and homes, including a handful of locations where high winds, fallen trees and tree roots damaged meters or lines that delivered service to affected structures.

“The safety and welfare of our customers and communities are a top priority for Piedmont Natural Gas,” said Weintraub. “We will stand by these communities as they turn to cleanup and restoration, ensuring we are offering the highest standard of customer service.”

Piedmont emphasized the following important safety reminders for anyone affected by Tuesday’s storm:

Wind-related damage:

  • If you see or suspect damage to natural gas lines, meters or facilities due to uprooted trees or wind-related damage, call 911 or Piedmont Natural Gas at 1-800-752-7504    .
  • Do not attempt to remove or repair any natural gas infrastructure yourself.

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.

Smell natural gas? Get out fast! Call 911!

  • If you smell natural gas, get out of the structure and leave the area as fast as possible.
  • Do NOT turn light switches on or off or use your cellphone or any other device that could create a spark and ignite natural gas.
  • Do NOT open any doors or windows to ventilate.
  • Do NOT light a match.
  • Do NOT attempt to locate the source of the leak.
  • Do NOT attempt to stop a leak.
  • Once you are a safe distance from the building, use your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone to call 911 and report a suspected leak.
  • Do NOT re-enter the building until first responders and Piedmont service technicians have declared it safe to do so.
  • 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.

In addition to the rotten-egg odor, natural gas leaks can be detected in other ways: leaks can often cause bubbling water, blowing dirt or dead plants, as well as sink holes and exposed pipe. Leaks can also cause a hissing sound near a natural gas line or meter.

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 2020 “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.      

Tammie McGee
Piedmont Natural Gas