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CenterPoint Energy issues important natural gas safety tips following severe weather

LITTLE ROCK - April 15, 2011 - CenterPoint Energy did not experience significant damage to its natural gas distribution system following last night's severe storms that moved through the area but crews have responded to several reports of leaking gas caused by uprooted trees. CenterPoint Energy also reminds customers of important natural gas safety tips to follow after a storm and during the clean up process.

  • Following a severe storm, be alert for leaking gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave too.
  • Do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 800-992-7552, and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician immediately.
  • As the clean-up process begins and trees and debris are being put out for heavy trash pickup, be aware of where the gas meter is located and make sure debris is placed away from the meter. In many areas the gas meter may be located near the curb. Trash collectors will use mechanized equipment to pick up heavy debris, and if the debris is near a gas meter, the equipment could pull up the meter damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 800-992-7552.

By following these safety reminders, customers can avoid creating additional hazardous conditions as well as interruption to gas service. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/safety.