No gas, no heat for N. Dakota residents

Jan. 28, 2008 at 7:41 AM

MANDAN, N.D., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Thousands of residents in frigid south-central North Dakota who lost natural gas services in a weekend leak may not to see a return of services until Tuesday.

Utility workers discovered a gas leak Sunday morning in Mandan, N.D., and repaired it by the afternoon but officials said the process of turning off gas meters and reigniting pilot lights in the affected area could push restoration of natural gas service into Tuesday afternoon, the Bismark (N.D.) Tribune said Monday.

Natural gas supplies cannot be restored until all meters are off, officials said.

The gas leak affected around 5,200 customers and a spokesman for Montana-Dakota Utilities said 60 crews from a four-state area worked to get natural gas supplies back online.

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven authorized emergency services and state agencies to help affected areas and the National Guard took space heaters to local fire departments for distribution, the Tribune said.

The National Weather Service in Bismark said temperatures Tuesday could dip to 25 below zero Fahrenheit, although the region expected mild temperatures Monday.

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