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Arkansas
CenterPoint Energy makes significant progress restoring service following natural gas outage
Relighting process begins tonight and continues tomorrow, Saturday

HOUSTON - September 13, 2012 - CenterPoint Energy has made significant progress in restoring natural gas service to approximately 1,700 customers in Mena, Ark.

Customers have been without gas service because of a disruption in the company’s gas supply which occurred late Wednesday evening.

“We called in additional employees from other parts of our service territory in Arkansas, Louisiana and East Texas, which allowed us to turn off the flow of gas to each customer’s meter throughout the day,” said Jay Johnston, district director for CenterPoint Energy. “We are now beginning the process of going home to home to restore service to each customer.”

CenterPoint Energy will begin the relighting process by restoring service to key facilities vital to safety, health and welfare, such as hospitals. The relighting process requires CenterPoint Energy employees to have access to each location to light pilots and check to make sure it is safe to resume service.

“We understand this is an inconvenience, but we appreciate our customers’ cooperation and patience,” Johnston said. “If at all possible, we’d like to ask that customers be at home this evening and tomorrow since it is necessary for our employees to go inside to restore natural gas service.

“A customer needs to call us only if there is a door hanger at their home or business indicating that we’ve already been by to attempt to restore service. Please call the number on the door tag left by our service personnel.”

For safety reasons, the company urges customers not to turn any valves or tamper with the natural gas meter. Opening or turning any valves could allow air to enter the natural gas lines, which would hinder the re-pressurization process.

“We estimate that all customers will have service restored by noon Saturday,” Johnston said.