Gov. Jack Dalrymple today said the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and other state agencies are working with local officials, health-care providers and utility companies in the event of potential heat shortages in eastern North Dakota.
Pipeline and utility officials are trying to restore natural gas supplies following a pipeline explosion Saturday south of Winnipeg. Xcel Energy customers in Eastern North Dakota are encouraged to lower their thermostats to 60 degrees to conserve fuel as colder weather is expected to move into the region.
"The state is fully committed and prepared to help keep our vulnerable populations safe in the event of heat losses," Dalrymple said.
The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and the state Department of Health are assisting in the preparation of contingency plans for hospitals and long-term care facilities that do not have a secondary fuel source for heat.
State officials remain in contact with Xcel Energy and MDU utilities. The Department of Emergency Services has been engaged since the explosion occurred and continues to work with local emergency agencies. The North Dakota National Guard has been notified and the Highway Patrol is on alert and ready to respond if needed.