ENSTAR installing new gas lines on Vine Road

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Photos of Vine Road in Wasilla after the November earthquake flooded the internet. But what you couldn’t see were that two gas lines shifted 13 feet.

According to ENSTAR Natural Gas Company, the lines had enough flexibility that no leaks in that area resulted from the quake, but they said crews have been out there on a weekly basis to ensure that the line is working.

The lines shifted outside of the company’s right-of-way area, and now, crews are out to replace them, installing two new lines closer to the road.

Fortunately, that line did have the flexibility to allow it to be moved that much without resulting in any leaks,” Lindsay Hobson, ENSTAR communications manager said.

Hobson said that construction will last at least a week.

“Immediately after the earthquake, we began surveying most of our system and we did find leaks throughout our system,” Hobson said. “But it’s hard to say if those are caused by the earthquake, but certainly we were able to make those repairs.”

After those repairs, Hobson said that the attention shifted to educating customers on managing their own meters.

“Our focus going forward is to educate customers as to when they need to turn off their gas meter and how to do that so we don’t have customers turning off their meters when they don’t have a gas leak and to have to wait for a period of time, especially when we have a large-scale emergency like this, in order to restore heat to their home,” Hobson said.

Hobson recommends that people smell for an odor called Mercaptan, which smells like rotten eggs and is added to gas so people can detect when it is in their home.

She also said people should listen for any hissing sounds, which could be an indication that gas is escaping.

ENSTAR wants to ensure people survey their property and appliances that use any form of natural gas. They said customers should be sure that no possessions have shifted in front of a natural gas vent, which could result in a carbon monoxide risk.

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