SaskEnergy still restoring natural gas service to customers in the Melfort area

SaskEnergy crews are going door-to-door to relight appliances following a natural gas outage in the Melfort area. File / Global News

SaskEnergy continues to restore natural gas to customers in the Melfort area who were affected by a pipeline rupture.

Officials with the Crown corporation said they have made significant progress restoring service to approximately 4,500 customers who lost natural gas on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Melfort, surrounding area affected by natural gas outage

Work will continue throughout Thursday and service is expected to be completely restored to all affected customers by the end of the day.

SaskEnergy said priority will be given to customers still without heat, and safety checks will be run on all services in the affected area once service is restored to everyone.

Anyone without service or who thinks they smell natural gas is asked to contact SaskEnergy at 1-888-700-0427.

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Crews will be working with RCMP and locksmiths to enter premises where the homeowners are not present in order to restore service and prevent potential damage caused by frozen pipes.

The City of Melfort has set up a warming centre at the Kerry Vickar Centre for people without natural gas service. It will be open Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.

The rupture on the high-pressure transmission line between Weldon and Birch Hills on Wednesday morning left customers in Melfort, Kinistino, and St. Brieux, along with rural areas, without natural gas service.

Melfort and the surrounding area is currently under an extreme cold warning, with wind chills in the -40 range possible Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Extreme cold warning for parts of Saskatchewan

SaskEnergy has the following tips for those without service:

  • Put on extra layers of clothing to conserve body heat.
  • Prevent water pipes from freezing (keep taps open and let water run slowly if outage is expected to be of short duration; shut off water main and drain all taps and flush toilets if a long outage is expected).
  • If you have natural gas appliances ensure they are all turned off for when service is restored.
  • Start an alternative heating source: wood-burning fireplaces and stoves – but don’t use equipment designed for outdoor use.
  • Open blinds and drapes during the day to let in natural sunlight and close them at night to retain the heat.

Anyone without service or who think they smell natural gas is asked to contact SaskEnergy at 1-888-700-0427.

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The cause of the rupture remains under investigation.

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