As TECO Peoples Gas officials continue to track Hurricane Isaias, the company is preparing for any natural gas emergencies created by the storm or its aftermath.
At Peoples Gas, safety is our highest priority and we prepare year ˜round for severe weather, said T.J. Szelistowski, president of TECO Peoples Gas. While we stand ready to handle any gas-related emergencies created by Hurricane Isaias, we encourage our customers to have a personal storm plan in place.
The current forecast predicts Hurricane Isaias could impact Floridas east coast with strong winds.
The companys first priority is the safety of our customers and employees, so please follow local evacuation orders. Peoples Gas advises customers to leave their natural gas service on, even in the event of an evacuation. Natural gas service will likely operate uninterrupted throughout the storm. Customers may choose to turn off gas to individual appliances at the supply valve near each unit. The valve at the main meter should be turned on or off only by qualified Peoples Gas representatives or emergency personnel.
Leaving natural gas meters on helps to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within homes or businesses and can prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur. Most natural gas appliances have safety valves that will shut off the flow of natural gas automatically if the pilot light goes out.
For safety reasons, Peoples Gas representatives or emergency personnel may need to turn off some customers service at the meter. If customers find their gas service has been shut off, they will need to call the Peoples Gas Customer Care Center at 877-TECO-PGS (877-832-6747) to have service restored.
If at any time residents smell a rotten egg or sulfur-like odor, there could be a natural gas leak. Residents should leave the premises immediately and then call the Peoples Gas 24-hour Emergency Gas Leak number: 1-877-832-6747, say emergency or select option 1. Please note that Peoples Gas employees will be dispatched when sustained wind speeds are below 40 mph.
Customers who suspect their natural gas appliances have been flooded or damaged due to the storm should have the equipment inspected and serviced by a qualified plumber or appliance-service contractor.
Other helpful hints in the event of an evacuation:
- Before evacuating, please first review the evacuation route information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management Web site (www.FloridaDisaster.org). Roads may be closed to facilitate better traffic flow.
- Have a functioning battery powered radio to monitor emergency information.
- Make plans for pets as they are extremely vulnerable and are not allowed at most shelters.
- For more information, visit peoplesgas.com/stormsafety.
Peoples Gas System, Floridas largest natural gas distribution utility, serves more than 400,000 customers across the state. Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Sylvia Vega, 813.228.4381