Columbia Gas of Virginia Monitoring Hurricane Irene

Thursday, August 25, 2011

For Release:
August 25, 2011

Contact: Bob Innes
(804) 768-6410
(804) 512-1425 - cellular

Columbia Gas of Virginia (Columbia) is monitoring the progress of Hurricane Irene to maintain the safest possible natural gas service to its 243,000 Virginia customers. Columbia personnel across Virginia are on alert and following the company’s emergency preparedness plan.

Columbia reminds any persons who smell natural gas to leave the area immediately and from a safe location call Columbia at 1-800-544-5606 and 911.

Columbia advises customers to leave their natural gas service on except under the following two conditions:

• Customers who have already experienced flooding of or damage to their natural gas appliances and equipment should turn off the gas service at the valve located on each natural gas appliance or at the valve located on the natural gas meter.
• Customers who expect flooding of their natural gas appliances and equipment and plan to leave their homes or businesses should turn off the gas service at the valve on each natural gas appliances or at the valve on the natural gas meter.

After returning home, customers who believe their natural gas appliances have been damaged by water must have the equipment inspected and serviced by a qualified contractor before Columbia can restore service. Please refer to the local telephone directory for a list of contractors. To have individual service restored after the Hurricane, customers should contact Columbia at 1-800-543-8911 and make a service restoration appointment.

After the storm, Columbia reminds customers to take care when removing fallen trees or grinding tree stumps. Buried underground utilities can create a dangerous situation unless properly located by the utility owner. Virginia law requires everyone to always call Miss Utility at 811 before beginning any excavation or if they need utility locates in response to an emergency situation.