Pressure drop causes Piedmont Natural Gas outage in Braunville Estates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 9, 2014

About 50 Piedmont Natural Gas customers in the Braunville Estates subdivision were without heat Tuesday after service was interrupted, officials said due to the weather and the demand to maintain service, causing a drop in pressure.
Although many residents in the subdivision, located just beyond East Rowan High School, were without gas well into the night, some say they were impressed with how the company responded to resolve the issue.
According to spokesman David Trusty, the problem occurred because of low pressure in the neighborhood.
He said the system performed extremely well throughout the three states the company serves, but with the demand and the extreme temperatures some small pockets were without service.
On Tuesday, the temperature was a record-breaking 6 degrees and only rose to the mid-20s by midday.
Trusty said about 50 to 55 customers were without service, but crews were working late Tuesday night making a cut in the road to help reduce and relieve the pressure issue.
“The low pressure means the demand from customers in a particular area of our system resulted in pressures that were low and not enough to maintain service,” he said.
Jeff Safrit said he and his family were actually out running errands for much of the day and were not directly affected by the outage. His service was restored around 10 p.m.
Safrit said just when he was about to retrieve a kerosene heater in case the family needed it, an employee with Piedmont Natural Gas informed him his service was back on line. He said the temperature reached about 57 degrees inside his home. Some of his neighbors still had heat, Safrit said.
He estimates the gas was interrupted around 2 or 3 p.m. Safrit said he was impressed with the quality of service of the company, whose crews went house-to-house checking each customer’s furnace and other gas connected devices.
Jessica Utley said it didn’t get really cold in her house where the temperature was 62 degrees. She also was pleased with the company’s response. The family was without heat for about five or six hours, she said.
“I consider myself very lucky because there are people who don’t a house,” she said.
Carmen Pethel said she was notified of the outage by Piedmont crews and left to run errands. Pethel said when she returned the crews double checked her water heater, stove, furnace and other devices to make sure service was restored.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.