Restoration efforts underway to restore service to Avista customers in Ashland
Mutual assistance crews supporting Avista in relight process
Spokane Wash. – March 20, 2019, 10:45 a.m.: Avista crews are on-the-ground in Ashland, Ore. this morning as they work to restore natural gas service to nearly 4,800 Avista customers who lost service on March 19. They are moving through the community, beginning in the downtown core, working to relight each residence and business impacted.
In addition to the Avista and contract crews in Oregon and that have come from Washington and Idaho, Avista engaged Northwest Natural out of Portland, Ore. to help complete restoration in an effort to expedite the restoration process. Through a mutual aid agreement where utilities can request and access support from other utilities, Northwest Natural’s support has added 10 service personnel to the 25 already working to restore natural gas service.
Crews will perform relighting until 11 p.m. tonight and will resume tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. As a reminder, customers can expect the following:
- Service personnel moving from property to property shutting off the natural gas meter, for the safety of customers, communities and employees.
- Service personnel moving from property to property to initiate the relight process.
- The relight process involves a service person knocking on a door and entering the property when the resident or business representative is there. All Avista personnel will have identification.
- Once relit, the service person will check the appliances in the residence or business.
- If the resident or business representative is not there, the service person will leave a card on the door, inviting the customer to call Avista so we can come back to relight.
- Customers do not need to take any action with their appliances at this time and should not relight their natural gas service on their own.
Avista’s restoration approach begins with restoring natural gas service to critical infrastructure, such as hospitals or care facilities, then moves to densely populated areas and expands outward from there to its customers. Crews will work as quickly and as safely as possible until all customers are restored, which is expected by end of day this Friday.
After further assessment, it appears the outage began after required and routine valve maintenance within the pipeline that unexpectedly restricted the flow of natural gas to customers. The issue was quickly identified, and work began immediately to remedy the situation. Avista will continue to investigate to identify how this could be prevented in the future.
As more information is available and the restoration process progresses, we will provide additional updates. If customers currently have natural gas service, it is expected that this incident should no longer impact them.
We understand this is an inconvenience and appreciate the patience of our customers. The safety of our customers, communities and employees is our primary goal. Natural gas safety information can be found at https://www.myavista.com/safety.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 388,000 customers and natural gas to 355,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.6 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.myavista.com
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