A main natural gas line along Highway 63 near the city of Hayward sustained a leak early Thursday morning, leaving nearly 1,700 customers without service. WE Energies spokeswoman Irrisol Arce says the leak was discovered at around 6:00 am when the temperature was near 24 below.
The company was forced to shut off gas service to all of its customers until the problem was found and fixed. Technicians worked all day to restore heat to customers working door to door to manually shut off gas valves, restore gas, and then restart furnaces.
Even with the gas outage many people found alternative ways to keep themselves warm. Portable heaters were a hot commodity and many businesses found their shelves bare of electric and propane heaters by early morning. Other people found their way to area emergency shelters that were set up to assist those without heat.
The company hopes to have gas restored to all its customers by Friday morning. The exact cause of the gas-line malfunction is still not known.