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Virginia Natural Gas urges customers to prepare now for Tropical Storm Arthur
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – July 2, 2014 – The first tropical storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season could impact the Virginia Natural Gas service territory between now and the July 4 holiday weekend. Forecasters are predicting that Tropical Storm Arthur, which is expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds and flooding, could form as a category 1 hurricane by Friday.
Virginia Natural Gas is encouraging customers to take the necessary preparations now to protect themselves and their families in advance of inclement weather. Virginia Natural Gas also wants to make customers aware of the following recommended guidelines associated with natural gas before and after a severe weather emergency:
Detecting Natural Gas Leaks
- If customers smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas, they should immediately leave the impacted area and call Virginia Natural Gas’ 24-hour emergency response line at 877-572-3342 from a safe location.
- Residents should never try to identify the source of a leak themselves.
- If the odor of natural gas is present, do not use a telephone or cellular phone, turn light switches on or off, operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as a lighting a match.
- Strong winds and saturated ground could cause trees to uproot. Before removing downed trees, customers should dial 8-1-1 or 800-552-7001 to have the location of underground utility lines marked, because downed trees could become tangled with the natural gas and other utility lines.
- If a natural gas meter is damaged or a natural gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call the 24-hour emergency response line at 877-572-3342 from a safe location.
- Customers are encouraged to know how to locate the natural gas meter on their property.
- Following a weather emergency, ensure the natural gas meter is visible and the area surrounding the meter is free of trash and debris. If the meter is hidden, it may be damaged by mechanical equipment used to clean up areas after a storm.
- If a natural gas meter is damaged, immediately leave the area and call the Virginia Natural Gas 24-hour emergency response number at 877-572-3342.
- Customers are advised to leave their natural gas service on during a hurricane or severe storm. Most natural gas appliances have safety valves that shut off the flow of natural gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
- If flooding occurs at a residence or business and the natural gas appliances are under water, customers are advised not to operate their appliances until a qualified plumber or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional can conduct a safety inspection.
- During a power outage, natural gas generators provide continuous fuel supply from an existing natural gas line. Because natural gas generator units are available in a range of sizes to meet various energy needs, customers are encouraged to check with a service representative at Virginia Natural Gas to determine whether their service line meets load requirements for the generator’s safe and efficient operation.
About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), provides retail natural gas sales and distribution services to 275,000 customers in southeast Virginia. For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services, midstream operations and cargo shipping. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves approximately 630,000 retail energy customers and approximately 1.2 million customer service contracts through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management, ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities, and ownership of Tropical Shipping, one of the largest containerized cargo carriers serving the Bahamas and Caribbean region. AGL Resources is a member of the S&P 500 Index.