CenterPoint Energy

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Arkansas
CenterPoint Energy issues important natural gas safety tips following severe weather in Arkansas
Company urges caution when reporting leaks, beginning clean-up

HOUSTON - April 26, 2011 - CenterPoint Energy did not sustain significant damage to its natural gas distribution system following the tornadoes and severe storms that moved through the state of Arkansas yesterday evening but reminds customers of important natural gas safety tips to follow after a storm and during the clean up process.

  • After a storm moves through, be alert for leaking gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave too. Once safely away from the area, call 800-992-7552, and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician immediately.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Call 811 prior to digging on your property while conducting cleanup.

By following these safety reminders, customers can avoid creating additional hazardous conditions as well as interruption to gas service.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations.  The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $20 billion. With over 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years.  For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com. CenterPoint Energy is the largest natural gas distribution company in Arkansas serving more than 440,000 customers.