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Massive gas outage in Huntly and Keith - householders asked to help provider as they battle to restore supplies for overnight

By Pat Scott

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SGN say their engineers are working hard to restore gas supplies in Huntly and Keith as quickly as possible in view of the plummeting temperatures but warn the 4500 householders affected could be without gas overnight.

To help them they are asking customers affected to turn off their gas supply at the meter.

They have issued four simple steps to do this safely:

1 Turn off all your gas appliances before trying to turn off the gas supply - for example, the boiler, cooker and gas fire.

2 Turn off your gas supply at the meter which could be under the stairs, in a cupboard or in a meter box outside your property. Give the emergency control valve, a spanner-style handle, a quarter turn in either direction so that it’s at a right angle with the gas pipe. There may be yellow tape on the pipe for guidance

3 Display the appropriate label on your front door or window to let us know whether you’ve turned off your supply, whether you need help to turn off your supply or whether you don’t have a gas meter ensuring the label is facing outwards for the SGN team to see.

Anyone who smells gas at any point should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

For safety reasons, it is vital that residents do not turn their gas back on until told to do so.

SGN representatives will be delivering letters to each affected property with these instructions and a label to display in their windows.

They have uploaded a video to the SGN YouTube channel which is free to download and share: https://youtu.be/2sYwGiF9TeQ

Anyone who has any concerns, can speak to one of the engineers working in the area or call our 24-hour Customer Service Team on 0800 912 1717, on live chat,or by text to 07490 077 649.

Gordon MP Richard Thomson said: “This is obviously concerning and hugely inconvenient for everyone, especially with the current low temperatures.

"I have requested an urgent update from the Chief Executive on the efforts being made to resolve the problem and the measures they are taking to assist those affected in the meantime.

“As it is unknown how long this problem might last, I’d urge people to offer socially distanced support to neighbours who may require it.”

Aberdeenshire Councils are setting up incident management teams to support affected householders and is consulting with partners.

Shops in both towns have sold out of electric heaters.

Father of three, Ean Roy who lives in Milton Road contacted his landlord, Osprey Housing to get electric heaters but they had none to offer.

His wife, Lindsay, continued with homeschooling for Isla (4), Kyle (8), and Sophie (10) but he said he was worried for them when the temperature begins to drop as darkness falls.

He said: " We can't go anywhere anyway because of lockdown and all of our families here in Huntly and in Keith are in the same situation. We'll be okay forfood as we have an electric oven and a microwave but what happens if water pipes freeze, that could be the next of it."

The manager of the Meadows Care Home, where their heating is by electricity has offered to help other care homes who require extra blankets or are struggling to prepare meals for their residents.

Balhousie Care Home has deployed electric heaters and electric hot water urns and said everything was in hand to keep their residents cosy and looked after.

An SGN spokesman said: "It’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take to restore supplies. We will be contacting residents who are registered on the Priority Services Register to offer extra support while they are without their supply.

"We know it’s not easy being without your gas supply at this time of year and we’re extremely sorry for this disruption. We’ll be doing all we can to restore everyone’s supplies as soon as possible.

SGN is keeping its website http://bit.ly/2YyvZfz updated with the latest information as it becomes available.

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