Restoration efforts on track for Tuesday completion with emphasis on safety
Spokane, Wash. Nov. 13, 2023, 4:30 p.m.: As of this Monday afternoon, Avista has restored natural gas service to more than 26,000 customers who experienced outages stemming from the damage that occurred on the Williams Pipeline between the cities of Pullman and Colfax.
According to Heather Rosentrater, Avista President and Chief Operating Officer, Avista continues to make good progress on the restoration effort and confirmed the company is on track to relight natural gas appliances to the remaining customers impacted by this historic natural gas outage by the end of the day Tuesday, November 14.
Rosentrater added the company will maintain elevated staffing levels beyond tomorrow to assist with relights in situations where customers were out of town or not home when crews were in their neighborhood.
“I want to thank our customers for their patience as we continue to make progress in restoring natural gas as quickly and safely as possible. We know this process is time consuming and challenging for customers,” said Rosentrater. “The support and appreciation from our communities has been inspirational for our employees along with the employees from eight other utilities and local HVAC contractors helping with this effort.”
Rosentrater also reiterated the company’s ask of customers to not attempt to relight their own appliances. Avista, along with the additional personnel brought on to assist with the relighting process, are trained to verify the customers’ equipment is in proper working order and ready for relight.
About the relight process:
Avista has developed restoration maps for each region that include zones that indicate the order of restoration, and a window of time teams are expected to be in each zone. Additional information about the estimated restoration times identified by area can be accessed, by visiting https://www.myavista.com/outages/wp-updates.
Customers will receive notification within 24 hours of their planned relight that crews are headed to their zone.
The relight process involves a serviceperson knocking on a door and entering the property when a resident or business owner is present. An adult will need to be present to let the serviceperson inside. Customers are asked not to leave doors to homes unlocked. All field personnel conducting relights will have identification.
Once relit, Avista will check the appliances in the residence. Customers do not need to schedule their own relights. There is no cost to customers for relights or gas restoration activity.
Important scam notice:
Avista has received reports of scams from customers throughout the affected service area. Customers should be on alert and continue to report suspicious requests or interactions with anyone who may be impersonating the company. Additionally, customers should not grant a suspicious person or suspected scammer access to their homes.
Important Safety Note:
Never use an outdoor grill or other items not intended for indoor use for heating or cooking indoors, as the fumes are toxic.
Do not attempt to turn your valve back on at the meter. Only Avista teams can turn it back on and go through the relighting process.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 408,000 customers and natural gas to 375,000 customers in a service area that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.7 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.myavista.com.