Residents in the Canadian province of Manitoba have been left without natural gas for heat, after a pipeline exploded on Saturday.
The explosion sent a huge fireball into the night sky.
The natural gas pipeline explosion cut heat to thousands of people who could be in for some extremely cold weather in the coming days. No injuries have yet been reported, but residents in some municipalities south of Winnipeg could be waiting quite a while for their services to be restored.
Some residents are expecting some serious temperature drops, with wind-chills that could dip down to 45 degrees below zero, F.
Although workers are in the process of getting emergency gas to the more critical locations the blizzard like storms and freezing temps could cause safety issues in delivering these emergency supplies.
The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time but is being investigated, however it is believed that the extreme cold may have damaged the infrastructure.
With the extreme weather the country has been facing, first with the Polar Vortex, followed by another major storm, coined “Bombogenesis” have been the major contributor to the fuel and gas prices soaring.
The soaring costs of fuel are due to dwindling supplies as the extreme weather has swept through North America. In most cases, grid operators have been able to maintain stability throughout the extreme conditions.
“We are in the midst of another temperature drop. A bit of an Arctic front is moving in here, and to the south of us, there is a blizzard system, so people in this area are going to get a nasty, cold, winter storm day,” CBC’s Katie Nicholson reported.
Emergency Measures spokesperson Nicki Albus on Saturday spoke about the cold that is on its way.
“We know it’s cold and people may be concerned about that but we are on the job here. Everyone here’s communicating well. We have a great group of people at the site and in the communities who have set up their emergency operation centres to handle this dilemma.”
The consequences of Saturday’s pipeline explosion have stretched as far down as Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin, causing the local utility companies to request that customers conserve gas over the weekend.
Manitoba Hydro and TransCanada officials could not say when natural gas would be restored to the area.
Hydro officials said customers in the area should prepare for an extended gas outage.
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