(Photo by Jeff Miller @rockybeach67/Twitter)

After the pipeline that supplies most of the natural gas handled by FortisBC ruptured and caused a fiery explosion on Tuesday, the company is urging its customers to cut down on consumption.

According to Fortis BC, the company that services over one million customers in BC, around 70% of gas customers could temporarily lose service – and Vancouver Island may be one of the hardest hit areas.

“The impacted Enbridge lines are the two main lines used to move gas into FortisBC’s gas system to serve customers in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island,” reads a statement from Fortis BC.

The National Energy Board is also working to determine what happened, and the investigation is currently in its early stages.

Repair and conservation

The company’s CEO, Doug Stout stated that while one of the two lines ruptured, the second one has been shut down while it’s being checked for damage.

Around 700,000 customers in Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and northern BC could face shortages and temporary loss of service.

“We are looking to add to our supply by bringing in gas through the TransCanada line from Alberta and activating our Tilbury and Mt Hayes liquefied natural gas plants, and have also talked to our industrial customers about switching to alternative fuel sources,” continues the statement from Fortis BC.

In the meantime, customers are asked to limit their use of natural gas in their homes as much as possible.

“This can be as simple as turning off your thermostat, not turning on your fireplace or limiting your shower time.”

Here’s the full statement from Fortis BC CEO, Doug Stout:


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