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Ashland Gas Customers Slowly Getting Service Back

Marina Burity/Wikimedia

Avista Utilities workers are slowly restoring gas service to thousands of customers who lost gas service in Ashland on Tuesday (March 19th). Avista says the total is nearly 4,800 customers affected.  No gas means no heat, no hot water, no cooking, and no drying clothes, or a combination, for customers using gas appliances. 

The cause of the outage?  An Avista release says "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 gas company says it is investigating how such an outage could be prevented in the future.

Getting gas service restored is a house-to-house process, with Avista crews supplemented by crews from Northwest Natural, based in Portland.  Crews are going door-to-door relighting pilot lights for gas customers.  They will not enter unoccupied homes, but will leave cards with phone numbers.  Avista cautions gas customers against relighting pilots on their own.

Relighting will run 8 AM until 11 PM until all gas service is restored, says Avista.  The utility published a map showing zones and projected gas restoration times (blue zone-by noon Thursday, red zone-Thursday or Friday, green zone-by end of the day Friday).  The company says full restoration should come sometime Friday.

Credit Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities
The wide view of the map. For further detail, click the link above for the PDF version, which allows zooming.

Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.