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March 21, 2013     Tri-County News
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March 21, 2013
 

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Thursday, March 21, 2013 News * ' Pa 27 Natural gas meters, your family safe CenterPoint Energy offers safety tips for the heating season Snow or ice formations on or near the natural gas meter can cause potentially dangerous con- ditions. Accumulation of snow and ice can affect proper opera- tion or ventilation of the regula- tor, which could cause over-pres- surization. Natural gas regulators are designed to maintain a con- stant pressure, ensure safe deliv- ery of natural gas and vent natu- ral gas safely to the atmosphere. If blocked, pressure may build up creating a dangerous situation and cause appliances to fail. Center- Point Energy would like to remind the public of important winter natural gas safety tips: Keep the meter area and a path to the meter clear of snow and debris. Do not use a snow blower or shovel near the meter or attempt to remove ice from the meter your- self. You can use a broom to keep the snow cleared around and on top of the meter and piping. If there is ice on the meter, or one or more of the following conditions exist, call (612) 321-5200 or (800} 296-9815: Snow or ice formations are visible above the meter Meter is located below a downspout Overhang or eave does not fully extend over the meter Meter is located below a roof valley without a gutter Meter is located below an exterior water spout If you suspect you have a nat- ural gas leak, leave the area imme- diately on foot and tell others to do the same. Do not drive into or near a gas leak or vapor cloud. Do not use electric switches, telephones (including cell phones), or anything that could cause a spark. Once safely away from the area, call the CenterPoint Energy emer- gency gas leak hot line at (800) snow and ice - keep clear to keep This photo shows a gas meter encrusted with ice and snow, a potentially dangerous condition. Submitted photo. 296-9815 and 911 to report the location and description of the leak and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician immediately. For more natural gas safety tips, visit our website at Center PointEnergy.com/besafe. CenterPoint Energy, Inc., head- quartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery com- pany that includes electric trans- mission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive nat- ural gas sales and services, inter- state pipelines and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkan- sas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mis- sissippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $22 billion. With about 8,800 employees, Cen- terPoint Energy and its predeces- sor companies have been in busi- ness for more than 135 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state's largest natural gas dis- tribution utility, serving about 800,000 customers in 260 commu- nities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minne- sota called Home Service Plus@. Drought .outlook improves; watching snow melt and flood risk By Mark Seeley, melt flooding on portions of the UofMExtension Upper Minnesota River, as well as The area of Minnesota's land- the Upper Mississippi River. This scape in severe to extreme drought is mostly due to more abundant diminished during February, snowfalls during February, along dropping from 84 percent of the with deeper ground frost, which state's landscape to under 70 per- combined to elevate the risk of cent. This modest improvement spring flooding from a below nor- was mostly due to above normal mal level to a ne.ar normal level. snowfall, especially acrosscentral You can read more about the and northern counties, spring flooding outlook and keep The new climate outlooks from up to date here: http://Lusa.gov/ the National Oceanic and Atmo- VZTAQn. spheric Administration (NOAA) Spring flood outlook proba- Climate Prediction Center suggest bilities for the Red River are also that, for much of March, the Great available from the Grand Forks Lakes region will see above- nor- NWS Office. These show a rela- mal precipitation. This is welcome tivelyhigher risk of flooding on the news in the context of improving lower end of the Red River Valley our drought situation, especially betweenWapehton and Fargo, ND. if we can lose the soil frost as well You can get more detail at: http://1. so the ground is more receptive to usa.gov/YPUb69. moisture recharge. In some areas, The higher risk of flooding frost depth ranges from 20 to along the Red River is because the 40 inches; this will take some time abundant snow cover already con- to thaw out. tains 2 to 5 inches of liquid water One potential risk of a wetter- trapped on top of frozen ground than-normal March is the threat there. A rapid thaw could cause a of flooding from snow melt. Last great volume of runoff before the week, the National Weather Set- soils are capable of absorbing the vice updated the spring flood moisture. If this situation devel- outlook for major Minnesota riv- ops and is further compounded ers. This new outlook calls for a by heavy March rainfalls, then near-normal risk of spring snow- indeed this area of the state could Eden Valley Fire Dept. awards For more information, visit Center PointEnergy.com. Eden Valley Fire Chief Joe Thielen (on'left) presented a plaque award to Jim Rademacher who retired from the Fire Department after 35 years of service. Submitted photos. Jim Rademacher (second from left) receives plaque for 35 years service to the Eden Valley Fire Department. From left to right are Fire Chief Jee Thielen, Jim Rademacher, Rescue Chief Howard Covert, and Eden Valley Mayor Pete Korman. Eden Valley Fire Department nembers received acknowledgement for their years of service. They are, from left to right, in front ow, Nick Thielen-Rescue 35 years, Scott Thielen-Fire 5 years, Justin Rademacher-Fire 5 years, Joe ielen-Fire 25 years, and Cory Schultz-Fire 15 years. In back row are Mary Thielen-Rescue 25 years, Jim Rademacher-Fire/Rescue 35 years, Dan Thielen-Fire/Rescue 35 years, Pat Becker-Fire 15 years Bill Ruhland-Fire 25 years, and Loren Meierhofer-Fire 15 years. Not pictured are Chad Kuechle-Fire :5 years, and Jason Nordman-Fire 5 years. Submitted photo. see some moderate to major flood ing. Thus state and federal agen cies will monitor the gauged flov volumes on the rivers, as well a; the weather very carefully durinI the month of March. Visit www'extensin'umn'edd extreme-weather, for related edu cational information on drough and winter impacts. Visit climate umn.edu, for more informatiol from the University of Minnesota'~ climatology working group. We make statewide adVertiSing easy! THE MINNESOTA DISPLAY AD NETWORK Your newspoper represent ive con provide complete deldls. The 2](4 Network is a program of the MNA, phone 800-279-2979