Pipeline explosion in Canada; Eau Claire residents asked to turn down thermostats

Story by The Spectator staff

Xcel Energy, Eau Claire’s main provider of heat and electric, is asking about 100,000 customers in three states to turn thermostats down to 60 degrees following a pipeline explosion in Manitoba, Canada early Sunday morning, according to an Xcel press release.

The press release said the explosion on a TransCanada pipeline potentially damaged two other pipelines that deliver natural gas to Western Wisconsin, Northwestern Minnesota and Easterrn North Dakota.

The company is asking Eau Claire residents to turn down heat in homes to conserve natural gas and avoid using gas-powered appliances.

Temperatures are expected to drop to 17 below zero tonight and as low as 22 below Monday night, according to the National Weather Service .

According to an automated statement on Xcel’s phone system:

“In this emergency situation, it is important customers turn their natural gas down and thermostats down to 60 and avoid the use of other natural gas appliances. Your continued cooperation is very much appreciated and necessary to try to prevent widespread natural gas outages.”

Eau Claire County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Hurley did not immediately return phone messages.