Friday, February 10, 2023

PG&E: Repairs Set to Begin on Earthquake-Damaged Gas Line in Loleta

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2023 at 1:58 PM

Repair work on an underground gas line in Loleta, damaged during the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that shook the region Dec. 20, is expected to begin in mid-February, according to PG&E.

Areas in the Eel River Valley — especially Rio Dell — bore the brunt of the powerful temblor.

According to the utility’s spokesperson, PG&E has been providing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to the town of Loleta since the quake, which is being stored in above ground tanks.

“CNG tanks are specially designed and engineered to contain the gas safely at between 3,000 to 3,600 pounds per square inch,” Megan McFarland said in an email to the Journal. “These natural gas cylinders have also passed through stringent federal safety standards and thorough impact testing to ensure its integrity in the unlikely event of collision or other accidents. CNG is non-toxic. This means there are no poisonous ingredients in it that can be absorbed into the blood once inhaled. It also doesn’t contaminate the earth and water.”

McFarland said customers in the area should have received letters and phone calls about the impending work on the damaged pipe, which is located near Scenic Avenue and Loleta Drive.

“We expect our work to continue through June,” she said. “Weather and other factors that affect safe working conditions may change our schedule.”

According to a Jan. 26 update from the county’s Office of Emergency Services, the Dec. 20 quake and New Year’s Day 5.4 aftershock caused a combined $32 million in damage. Of the nearly 2,000 structures inspected, 91 were deemed unsafe for occupation and another 353 were yellow-tagged, meaning a need for safety repairs, with 109 households displaced, most of those in the city of Rio Dell.

For more information about resources available for those impacted by the earthquakes, click here. Today is the last day of the federal Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Outreach Center located in the Rio Dell Community Resource Center, 406 Wildwood Ave. It closed at 4:30 p.m.

McFarland said there will be “controlled and safe release of a small amount of natural gas” during the repair work in Loleta and residents in the area “may hear a loud and steady noise and notice the smell of gas.”

She stated that is normal but anyone with concerns can contact PG&E at (800) 743-5000.

“PG&E will post ‘No Parking’ signs at least 24 hours before we begin our work,” McFarland said. “This work will affect traffic on Spring Street and Scenic Drive. Crews will route traffic around work areas if needed. Please plan for minor delays if we are working outside your home or business.”
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Kimberly Wear

Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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