Black Hills Energy crews prepared for ice storm

Ice Storm

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNW) – With the forecast for up to one inch of ice accumulation beginning today through Sunday morning, Black Hills Energy reminds customers to keep safety first during hazardous conditions and offers tips to prepare for any weather-related service interruptions.

“Black Hills Energy has plans in place for dealing with severe weather, and there are things customers can do to be prepared as well,” said Nick Gardner, general manager for Black Hills Energy’s Kansas gas operations. That preparation includes constant monitoring of weather forecasts. Gardner said that much of the company’s ability to respond quickly is the result of actions Black Hills Energy takes before a storm actually hits, including:

  • Developing staffing plans to provide 24-hour outage response and a 24-hour service outage center that dispatches Black Hills crews.
  • Coordinating efforts with local emergency officials.
  • Providing ongoing service restoration updates to customers.

“Safe, reliable service is our priority,” Gardner said. “We regularly inspect and maintain our system to ensure reliability and safety.”

If you lose natural gas service as a result of the ice storm, immediately call Black Hills Energy’s 24-hour customer service number: 888-890-5554.

While Black Hills Energy is the natural gas service provider for 112,000 customers in Kansas, the company offers the following electrical safety tips as a public service:

  • First, see if your neighbors have lights. If they do, check for blown fuses or a tripped circuit breaker in your home. If your neighbors don’t have lights or you can’t locate the problem, contact your electric service provider.
  • Leave a lamp or radio switched on so you’ll know when electric service is restored.
  • Flip your porch-light switch on. This will help speed the power restoration process, as crews will be able to quickly confirm that your power is back on without knocking on your door.
  • Do not open your refrigerator or freezer more than is necessary. Undisturbed food will remain frozen in most freezers for up to 48 hours.
  • Do not use charcoal grills to heat your home or for cooking indoors. Dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up and cause serious injury or death.
  • If you use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s safety and operating guidelines. Be sure to operate the generator in a well-ventilated area. Never operate a generator inside your home or in your garage. Again, dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up and cause serious injury or death.
  • Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless, have a carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries installed to warn you of potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Visit Black Hills Energy’s Facebook and Twitter pages for storm updates on social media. More information about natural gas safety can be found at blackhillsenergy.com.