Duluth lifts thermostat request to natural gas customers east of Lake Ave.

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The City of Duluth has lifted its request to all natural gas customers east of Lake Avenue to keep thermostats at 62 degrees. According to a Sunday afternoon release from the city, customers east of Lake Avenue may return to normal usage.

"We would like to thank the public for their assistance over the last few days," Interim Director of Public Works and Utilities Greg Guererro said. "Reducing the load on the gas service allowed our crews and contractors to make the repairs that we needed to make, and gave us time to be confident about the flow of gas to serve customers. We know that for many this was an inconvenience and appreciate their help to maintain services to the entire community."

The City notified natural gas customers on Thursday, January 27 after its largest gas main was damaged.

On Friday, January 28, the City requested that all natural gas customers east of Lake Avenue reduce their thermostats to 62 degrees to decrease the overall load on the system.

According to city officials, lowering thermostats in that area helped ensure that all businesses and homes were able to heat with the gas remaining in the system. Without customer assistance, neighborhoods were at risk of a full gas shutoff.

"I want to personally thank staff for their work," Mayor Emily Larson said. "Many have had very little sleep while repairing the gas main, monitor that conditions were safe, and to maintain services that customers rely on. They deserve a lot of credit for their time and expertise to fix this as quickly as they did."

Mayor Larson went on to say, "I also want to thank everyone impacted by this. Because so many were willing to sacrifice their comfort and turn their thermostats down, we didn’t have to shut off services to neighborhoods. We cannot thank residents and businesses enough for their patience and understanding."