Thousands wait for natural gas after pipeline blast

Tanker trucks carried emergency supplies of compressed natural gas on Sunday to heat critical locations in southern Manitoba as thousands of residents have to contend with no heat.

ST. PIERRE-JOLYS, Man. — Tanker trucks carried emergency supplies of compressed natural gas on Sunday to heat critical locations in southern Manitoba as thousands of residents have to contend with no heat.

The residents have been told that a pipeline explosion on Saturday means they could have to spend several days in frigid temperatures without fuel to heat their homes.

Natural gas service for an estimated 4,000 people in municipalities south of Winnipeg was interrupted following a huge explosion at a TransCanada Pipelines valve site near St. Pierre-Jolys.

The explosion prevented the company from supplying natural gas to Manitoba Hydro, which informed customers on Saturday that service could be off for at least a day.

Manitoba Hydro said TransCanada still can’t provide an estimate of when gas would begin flowing again and warned people through messages on its website to “prepare themselves for an outage that could last several days.”

To top it off, the temperature in the region was below —20 C and many highways were closed.

Heather Chambers Ewen, a spokesperson for the Rural Municipality of Hanover, said many people were staying home or going to stay with friends or family rather than venturing out to community warming centres.

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