Elizabethtown Gas Storm Update
Friday, November 2, 2012 • 1:07pm
Elizabethtown Gas crews have been fully engaged in implementing an emergency response plan, and as a result its natural gas distribution system is fully functional and ready to serve customers who can safely receive service.
At this time, crews have made initial assessments of the entire service territory, and are continuing to conduct safety and flood inspections. The company is also meeting with local officials to provide updates on the status of, and its plans for work in their communities. Additional resources from its parent company, AGL Resources, have been mobilized to assist in the emergency response and recovery.
While much of Elizabethtown Gas’ service territory was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, areas most affected by natural gas interruptions include Carteret, Perth Amboy, Woodridge Township, Elizabeth and Linden, where meters, regulators and gas appliances have been flooded. While none of the Elizabethtown Gas’ transmission or distribution lines are blowing gas, crews have turned off gas in areas where it may present safety issues.
To begin the assessment process, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps were used to identify flood-prone areas. As of today, a full complement of qualified emergency personnel from sister companies in Georgia and Virginia, as well as third-party contractors were deployed in these areas to go door-to-door and conduct damage assessments of more than 7,300 natural gas meters. Yesterday’s efforts resulted in more than 900 natural gas meter inspections. Damage assessments are expected to be completed by Friday and on Saturday crews will begin service restorations where possible.
Elizabethtown Gas wants to assure customers that their natural gas service will be restored in a prompt manner, barring any safety issues. Restorations will only be completed at premises ready to receive service. Natural gas service for customers whose natural gas appliances have been submerged in water must be delayed until both the power is restored and the appliance is inspected to ensure safe operation.
“Our efforts to address issues created by the storm have progressed ahead of initial expectations. We have complete system integrity and have the ability to serve 100% of our customers,” said Brian MacLean, vice president of operations, Elizabethtown Gas.
In the days leading up to the storm, Elizabethtown Gas established an incident command center at its Green Lane facility, strategically staged crews throughout the service territory, and finalized additional support to ensure continuity in handling customer calls throughout the storm and recovery.
As crews continue to restore customers’ natural gas service, Elizabethtown Gas wants to remind customers of important safety tips related to flood conditions:
· If you smell gas, immediately leave the affected area and call the Elizabethtown Gas 24-hour emergency response line, at 1-800-492-4009 from a safe location. Never try to identify the source of a leak.
· Do not operate natural gas appliances that are or have been submer