MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Xcel Energy has asked its Minnesota natural gas retailers to dump their thermostats and reduce natural gas consumption to avoid overloading the natural gas system.
"With extremely low temperatures scheduled for resuming tomorrow morning, Xcel Energy asks our Minnesota customers to help preserve natural gas and our gas system can continue to function well for customers across the country," the company said on Wednesday afternoon. "The best way to help is to temporarily lower the thermostat setting to 63 degrees, if possible, until Thursday morning (9 o'clock or later). This step can help ensure that all of our customers continue to have a gas delivery service during this hideous cold weather.
Xcel Energy says co-operation with citizens is of key importance to prevent widespread natural gas outbreaks. The company also proposes to use electric space heaters.
The company also warns of gas leakage in cold weather.
"As an important security reminder, if customers ever find out the smell of sulfur or broken egg inside or in the vicinity of your home, it could be an odorant that we put into natural gas to detect the leak. If you notice that smell, leave the house immediately – said Xcel Energy.
Reg Chapman from WCCO said on Sunday before noon that Xcel Energy is looking for buyers in some parts of the state to lower the thermostat to 55 degrees.
The break in the natural gas system occurred on Tuesday about 22:30. in Baldwin Township, leaving 152 houses with little defense against cold chill.
As soon as Scott Gillespie woke up on Wednesday morning, he knew something was wrong.
"We have no hot water and I thought it was something." [has] he froze, "Gillespie said.
A quick review of social media has revealed that it is not alone.
– Keep the dogs inside, keep the kids under blankets. Thank God they did not go to school today, "said Gillespie.
Baldwin Township lies at the edge of Xcel's coverage area, and the system is burdened by a higher demand for supply.
Using the Xcel Xcel Wood and Heater Furnace, Gillespie will be brave on Wednesday night at home along with his family.
Customers made hotel rooms, and Xcel Energy is working on restoring services. The utility also provides endangered customers with heated rooms.
If you are one of the affected residents, to secure a hotel room, please contact one of the hotels listed below (all rooms booked under Xcel Energy):
• AmericanInn, 910 Run River Road, Princeton (34) 1-763-389-9312
• CountyInn, 18894 Dodge Street Northwest, Elk River (28) 1-763-241-6990
• Super 8, 21130 134. Ave N, Rodgers (25), 1-763-333-0253
• America Best Value, 16776 198 Ave, Big Lake, MN (17) 1-763-262-7666
• Best Western, 89 Chelsea Rd, Monticello, MN (20) 1-763-271-8880
• Motel River River, 510, 19th Ave N, Princeton, MN (11) 1-763-389-3120
Xcel Energy says it has set up a command center at AmericInn in Princeton and contacted licensed plumber to protect the plumbing while the service is being renewed.
Lance Johnson took the communal company into his hotel offer.
"I did not notice until 4 am when I got to go to work, it was about 52 degrees," Johnson said.
His children enjoy a holiday of cool reality in the indoor pool.
"They feel like they're in Florida or something," Johnson said.
He spent the day going back and forth between his home and hotel, doing everything he could to ensure he did not endure permanent damage when the service was restored.
"In the house I have five electric heaters, so I think it will be okay," Johnson said. "I have a house up to 60 degrees immediately."
Xcel hopes that the service will be returned to homes affected by Thursday, but it may be Friday, depending on the weather.
In the subway, power is restored to most Minnesota after more than 7,000 lost power in the subway on Tuesday night. Xcel Energy blamed faults on power poles.
Meanwhile, CenterPoint Energy says it has no problems with the natural gas distribution system and does not require consumers to save energy.