UPDATE: Duluth asking residents, businesses east of Lake Ave. to keep thermostats low | www.WDIO.com

UPDATE: Duluth asking residents, businesses east of Lake Ave. to keep thermostats low

Updated: January 28, 2022 05:24 PM
Created: January 28, 2022 07:21 AM

The City of Duluth is asking gas customers east of Lake Ave. and north of Arrowhead Road to maintain a temperature of 62 degrees until further notice. City officials notified the community about the need early on Friday morning.

At first, residents and businesses in the Lakeside and Woodland neighborhoods were asked to reduce their thermostats to 62 degrees until 11 a.m. That was expanded to include all customers east of Lake Avenue and now goes until further notice.

This will help the City reduce the overall load on the system and avoid the possibility of a neighborhood shutdown of gas. 

"We feel confident that we can reduce enough of the load on our system to maintain service to everyone," Duluth Utility Operations Manager Greg Guerrero said.

On Thursday, a contractor in the Lincoln Park area drove through a piling and hit a large gas main.

"The main that was hit yesterday morning is one of our three mains that feed the entire city," Guerrero said. "That main is how we maintain a lot of our pressure in the eastern part of town." 

The City of Duluth says it was a 12-inch pipe. Crews are working to put on a temporary sleeve until warmer weather comes and they can make a permanent repair. When the gas main was hit, utility and fire crews took immediate steps to shut off gas in the area.

Mayor Emily Larson couldn't say what the potential repercussions for the contractor are. 

"We of course are having conversations about responsibility and what that means," she said. "But today is really about making sure we get things fixed and are moving forward."

The recommendation comes from city staff working through the night to resolve this issue. Work will continue throughout the day. Updates will be provided as they are available.

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