SoCal Gas Provides Situational Update
Source: County of Santa Barbara
Southern California Gas (So Cal Gas) crews continue to work alongside first responders in Montecito and Santa Barbara to assess the condition of our natural gas system and to support the safety of first responders, our customers and the public. Our emergency operations center and operations command post remain activated to coordinate response activities.
SoCalGas personnel are on the ground in Montecito supporting public safety, assessing damage to our natural gas system and planning for repair and restoration work. Our work to safely restore natural gas service to our customers will take time and involve several steps:
Our top priority is the safety of the public, first responders, and our employees working in the impacted area.
At the request of Santa Barbara County Fire (SBCF), and in support of emergency response efforts, SoCalGas has temporarily interrupted natural gas service to areas of Montecito identified by SBCF. This includes most of Montecito north of the 101 freeway.
Residents in the Montecito area can expect to be without natural gas service until all safety work, damage assessment and repair work are completed. Approximately 3,600 customers have been impacted by the temporary service interruption. The number of impacted customers remains preliminary, and may increase or decrease as we continue to assess the situation.
SoCalGas urges anyone, including homeowners and construction crews, who plans to dig or operate heavy equipment to contact 811 before beginning work. SoCalGas personnel will respond and mark the location of gas lines in the vicinity to prevent potential damage to gas utility lines.
While natural gas has been temporarily interrupted to most of Montecito, SoCalGas urges customers to continue to report suspected gas leaks or suspected damage to gas facilities by going to a safe area and calling 1-800-427-2200 or 911. 2018 XSB JANUARY STORM News Release
As conditions permit, and as areas are cleared by first responders, SoCalGas crews continue to canvass the impacted area to address safety concerns and assess the extent and type of damage to natural gas lines and meters. SoCalGas will likely be in an assessment phase for at least the next several days. Given the extensive mud and debris flows, we expect that our assessment will identify additional damage to pipelines or service lines in the area. Pending the results of this ongoing assessment work, the areas impacted by the service interruption may need to be extended.
Once the assessment phase is completed, SoCalGas will begin repairing pipelines and service lines damaged by the mud and debris flows. The scope and duration of repair work will depend on the impact and extent of damages to gas lines.
Given the magnitude and impact of the storm damage, an estimate for restoring gas service to the affected customers has not been determined. Updates will be provided as information becomes available. For safety reasons, customers should never attempt to restore gas service themselves.
Customers seeking specific information about their natural gas service should call SoCalGas at 1-877-238-0092.
Transmission Pipeline Damaged During Storm:
During the storm on January 9th, a SoCalGas transmission pipeline in Montecito was broken, likely by mud, debris flow and/or flooding. There was a subsequent fire. Automated safety equipment designed to stop the flow of gas during such incidents shut off natural gas flow to the section of pipeline that was damaged. The damaged section of the pipeline has been isolated and there is currently no gas present in that section.
Please note – the broken transmission line is unrelated to the current service interruption. Most of Montecito is served by another transmission pipeline.