Crews descend upon S’mass to restore natural gas service |

Crews descend upon S’mass to restore natural gas service

Eben Harrell
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Technicians began restoring natural gas service yesterday morning to homes in Snowmass Village that were affected by a malfunctioning gas main Monday.

Company officials hoped to restore service to all homes by this morning. Kinder Morgan representative Rick Raincy said last night that 90 percent of the affected residences had had their gas service restored.

Approximately 30 field technicians have been dispatched to the area to go door to door restoring service, Raincy said. He emphasized that for safety reasons residents should not try to reset meters or relight pilot lights themselves.

Approximately 200 residents in the Two Creeks, the Pines, Snowmass Club Circle and Clubhouse Drive subdivisions found themselves without heat or hot water yesterday when a gas main became overpressurized, leaking gas into the air and forcing the discontinuation of the gas supply.

Raincy said preliminary investigations indicate that the gas leakage was a result of a malfunction in a pressure reduction station. The malfunction resulted in increased gas pressure and subsequent venting through relief valves. It was the gas released through the valves that forced the evacuations.

What caused the malfunction of the regulatory station is not yet known, according to Raincy.

A house fire in the Two Creeks neighborhood was believed to be connected to the gas leakage. Snowmass Village police said the house was significantly damaged, but was not a total loss. No one was injured in the fire or the gas leak.

All of the affected homes were forced to go without heat or hot water yesterday. Snowmass Police Chief Art Smythe said morale among the residents remained high throughout the ordeal.

“I think everyone dealt with this fairly well. People understand that this is a rare occurrence and that Kinder Morgan is doing all they can to fix it,” he said.

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