Lincoln, Neb. – January 1, 2021 Black Hills Energy technicians have returned to Nebraska from Colorado, after working to fully restore natural gas service to customers in the City of Aspen.
On Sunday, December 27, 3,500 customers lost service following vandalism to Black Hills Energy’s system. Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are investigating.
Tuesday, local leaders declared a state of emergency in Aspen because of frigid conditions – which created greater urgency for Black Hills Energy technicians, but also created additional challenges as crews worked tirelessly outdoors.
By Wednesday afternoon, contact was made with each customer, and 97 percent of homes and businesses once again had safe and reliable natural gas service.
Of the more than 170 technicians who responded, 31 traveled from Nebraska.
“I’m extremely proud of our team. Techs volunteered to go to Aspen, as others raised their hands to work holidays – determined to keep service running smoothly at home,” said Kevin Jarosz, vice president of Nebraska operations. “We wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of – our neighbors down the street, and those in Colorado.”
Customers can find additional information about the Aspen outage, and Black Hills Energy’s response, at blackhillsenergy.com/aspen/faqs.
Please remember the following safety tips:
- If you smell natural gas, leave the building or area immediately. Alert others, too.
- After you’re safe, call 911 and Black Hills Energy’s emergency number at 888-890-5554. Never assume someone else has reported a natural gas leak.
- Do not turn on lights, ignite a flame, use a cell phone or anything else that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or generator.
- Never attempt to repair a natural gas leak, and do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off.