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Small ND town loses natural gas on frigid day, night

 

TIOGA, N.D. -- All but 55 customers of Montana-Dakota Utilities customers in Tioga had their natural gas service restored by 3 p.m. Wednesday after a citywide outage the day before.

Tioga is a city of about 1,600 residents in northwestern North Dakota, about 40 miles east of Williston.

MDU spokesman Mark Hanson said the outage affected 909 customers in Tioga, stemming from an apparent failure in the gas supplier's backup system during maintenance Tuesday afternoon.

Fifty MDU technicians from around North Dakota and eastern Montana traveled to Tioga Tuesday evening to manually reset every customer's natural gas meter and relight appliances.

Techs worked throughout the night to correct services for 650 customers by 8 a.m., Hanson said. MDU prioritized Tioga's nursing home and hospital, Tioga Police Officer Mia Lefever said Tuesday.

Tioga's coal-heated high school opened as a shelter for those residents without heat. Principal Brodie Odegaard said, as far as he knew, no one stayed at the school.

Temperatures dropped to single digits in Tioga overnight into Wednesday, with a high of 8 during the day.

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