Peoples Gas says it is prepared to respond to any natural gas emergencies caused by Hurricane Ian or its aftermath and is encouraging its customers to plan ahead for the storm.
Hurricane Ian is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rain and potentially significant storm surge to Florida’s west coast. Peoples Gas said its “first priority is the safety of customers and employees” and urged residents to follow local evacuation orders.
The company said it does not expect any interruptions to natural gas service throughout the storm but emphasized that customers should leave their natural gas service on even if they evacuate. Peoples Gas said leaving natural gas meters on helps maintain proper pressure in gas piping and can prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur.
Customers may choose to turn off gas to individual appliances at the supply valve near each unit, however, the valve at the main meter should only be turned on or off only by Peoples Gas representatives or emergency personnel. Most natural gas appliances have safety valves that will shut off the flow of natural gas automatically if the pilot light goes out, the company added.
If at any time residents smell a rotten egg or sulfur-like odor, there could be damage to a natural gas line or a natural gas leak. If a customer detects a sulfur-like odor, the company said they should move to safety and call 911, then call Peoples Gas at 877-832-6747. Emergency calls are answered at all hours, year-round, but Peoples Gas employees will only be dispatched once sustained wind speeds are below 40 mph.