File photo

File photo

Flood waters expose part of gas pipeline

The washout near Terrace was spotted during a routine aerial inspection along the line.

Over 300 feet of gas pipeline along the Copper River was exposed after flood waters washed away a large portion of a river bank.

Pacific Northern Gas operations and engineering vice president Joe Mazza said the washout near Terrace was spotted during a routine aerial inspection along the line.

“The pipeline in one location along the Copper River has been exposed through erosion and we need to make sure that it is properly supported and in place,” said Mazza. “At this point we don’t anticipate there will be any gas service interruption.”

He said crews would be going on site on Thursday to assess the situation and to carry out any repairs necessary.

“We don’t believe it’s a significant risk – we’re continuing to monitor the situation right now,” said Mazza.

“Our priority is always to ensure safe and reliable service to our customers.”

Mazza said it isn’t unusual for washouts to occur along the river following heavy rains, and that potential exposures are dealt with through a pipeline integrity management program.

Part of the program is to conduct pipeline inspections using a helicopter following heavy rains in the catchment areas.

“We also have an emergency response in plan in place as well. At this point though we just have a section that is exposed and we are going to address it,” said Mazza.

The pipeline runs parallel to the Copper River and supplies customers in Kitimat, Terrace and Prince Rupert.

Nearly 30 customers north of Terrace were affected when the pipeline near the Kleanza Creek Crossing was exposed by another washout.

Mazza said a crew was on site on Thursday carrying out repairs and that service would resume by Thursday night.

He said any member of the public who has questions about service delivery can phone 1-800-667-2297.