Houston – Aug. 28, 2023 – In the wake of the recent wildfire in Tiger Island, near the town of Merryville, Louisiana, CenterPoint Energy – in collaboration with emergency responders and local authorities – has been working tirelessly to help keep the community safe and respond effectively to the situation.
CenterPoint Energy's technicians have begun visiting customers' residences to restore service. Crews will need access to customer homes to relight pilot lights on any natural gas appliances. If technicians visit a home and no one over the age of 18 is present, a door hanger with details on how to contact the company to schedule a relight will be left on the door. Our crews and contractors wear identification badges and will show them to you upon request.
“Our thoughts are with impacted community members as they bravely battled the Tiger Island Fire in Beauregard Parish," said Bo Murphy, Vice President, Louisiana and Mississippi Gas at CenterPoint Energy. “The devastating impact of this wildfire reaches far beyond the natural gas system, and we will continue to support Merryville in its recovery during this difficult time."
Important actions taken by the company include:
Monitoring and shut-off: Technicians actively monitored the wildfire's progression and were ready to initiate emergency shut-offs of natural gas supply lines where necessary. This proactive approach was aimed at minimizing the risk of natural gas-related incidents as a result of the wildfire. In coordination with local authorities, the company temporarily suspended natural gas service to prevent potential natural gas leaks or hazards.
System assessments: Technicians continuously checked the natural gas system to ensure customers can safely return to the Merryville area.
Expedited service restoration: Following the evacuation mandate, CenterPoint Energy technicians have returned to the area to restore service.
Safety tips for Merryville residents returning home
As Merryville residents begin to return to their homes in the aftermath of the wildfire, CenterPoint Energy urges everyone to follow these crucial safety guidelines:
Be alert for natural gas leaks. If you smell natural gas – which has a distinctive, strong odor, often compared to rotten eggs or sulfur – leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too. Do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator. Once safely away from the area, call 911 and CenterPoint Energy, and the company will send a trained service technician immediately.
Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. For your safety, do not turn any valves or tamper with the natural gas meter. If the smell of gas is present, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave, too. Call 911 then call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.
Identify the location of the natural gas meter. As you are putting out debris for heavy trash pick-up, please make sure it is placed away from the meter. In some areas the meter may be located near the curb. Trash collectors are using mechanized equipment to pick up heavy debris, and if the debris is near a natural gas meter, the equipment could pull up the meter damaging it, and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this does happen, please leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy.
Call a licensed plumber or a natural gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances. If you believe natural gas lines may have been damaged in the fire, call a professional to inspect your appliances prior to requesting a service reconnection. Don't forget to check outdoor appliances, such as pool heaters and gas grills.
- While conducting clean-up,
call 811 to locate utility lines prior to digging on your property.
We appreciate your patience as we work as safely and as quickly as possible to resume gas service to homes and businesses.