Columbia Gas of Virginia Reports Little Impact to Natural Gas Infrastructure Due to Hurricane Irene

For Release:
August 28, 2011

Contact: Bob Innes
(804) 768-6410
(804) 512-1425 - cellular
rinnes@nisource.com

CHESTER, VA – August 28, 2011 – Columbia Gas of Virginia (Columbia) has completed an initial assessment of its critical natural gas infrastructure with very few problems reported at this time. In the past 24 hours, Columbia personnel from across Virginia responded to several situations where trees had fallen onto natural gas meters and all were addressed without incident. Company personnel remain on alert to respond to any customer emergency.

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.

In addition, Columbia urges customers to take care when removing downed trees or grinding tree stumps. When trees are downed, their root system can bring with them underground utility lines such as natural gas service and main lines along with overhead utility lines. In addition, because utilities could be underneath, caution should be taken when grinding tree stumps. By calling 811 each utility will locate their underground utilities and clearly mark their facilities using the universal color code.

The universal colors are: Red – Electric; Orange – Communications, Telephone/CATV; Blue – Potable Water; Green – Sewer/Drainage; Yellow – Gas/Petroleum Pipe Line; Purple – Reclaimed Water and White – Premark site of intended excavation

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.


###