Liberty Utilities is working to restore gas service to roughly 1,000 customers in Keene after a problem at the company’s facility interrupted service starting late Wednesday morning.
The issue does not present any danger to the public, according to a news release from Liberty Utilities Wednesday afternoon.
By Wednesday evening, operations at the gas production plant in Keene were “back to normal,” but the work to shut off affected meters was ongoing, according to a later news release from Liberty Utilities spokesman John Shore.
Service is being restored one section of the system at a time, Shore said in an email.
According to company spokeswoman Emily Burnett, the company was able to restore most of Main Street from Emerald to Appleton streets Wednesday night, and Water Street from Main to Carpenter streets, along with all of Davis Street — though there were a few properties that still needed to be seen to. With more than 50 service techs out in the field, the company is aiming to restore service to 600 customers Thursday, she said.
Liberty Utilities hopes to restore service over the next two to three days, Burnett previously told The Sentinel. The exact day and time of restoration will vary among customers, she said.
The problem at Liberty’s Keene production facility arose around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, the company said, and caused a drop in gas pressure. As of Wednesday, the company had not determined what caused the issue but said technicians are actively investigating.
As a result of the outage, several downtown restaurants were offering limited menus or closing early.
Jesse Schultz, general manager and head chef of downtown’s Odelay, said there was a buzz in the local food scene throughout Wednesday as businesses checked in with one another and discussed contingency plans. The service interruption happened shortly before lunch, he said, and affected what the restaurant could offer. Shortly before 5 p.m., Odelay announced on Facebook it would be closing early due to the outage.
The cause of the problem is still under investigation, but as of Thursday morning, it did not appear to be related to incidents in 2015 and 2016, in which a problem at the Keene facility led to an issue with the mixture of air into the propane gas supply, according to Burnett.
Before Liberty restores gas services to the affected customers, the company said it must turn off all individual gas meters and mitigate the problem at its production facility. The company has created a web page for updates and with information about safety precautions at https://bit.ly/3vxZBcI.