Friday gas outage in Steamboat puts mountain area homes at risk

On Friday morning, Dec. 2, an Atmos Energy natural gas outage affected many residences near Mount Werner in Steamboat Springs.

The outage caused pilot lights to turn off in many of the affected homes, and without notice from Atmos Energy, some residents have had to figure the situation out for themselves. 

“We noticed that it was about 62 degrees in our home at 11,” said resident Anjelica Nordloh. “We’ve had issues with our furnace before, so we just thought our pilot light went out.”

Nordloh said she relit the pilot light but didn’t think to check her hot water heater, as there was still hot water in the tank. 

“I just assumed it was an issue with the furnace because we didn’t get any email or text or any notification from Atmos,” Nordloh said. 

A spokesperson for Atmospheric Energy said a routine maintenance issue caused a low pressure situation on its natural gas system and people can call the customer service number at 888.286.6700 to request a technician to relight natural gas appliances after outages.

“The isolated event affected approximately 45 residents whose service was safely restored,” the Atmos Energy spokesperson wrote in a statement.

But 45 residents might be a low estimate based on the flood of calls received by property management companies.

“It was much more widespread than we expected,” Stephanie Stevenson, the General Manager at Moving Mountains wrote in an email. “We had homes on Clubhouse Circle, Ski Trail Lane, Ridge Road, Burgess Creek, Eagle Glen Drive, Alpenglow that we had to relight the boilers. Luckily, we manage these homes and keep a close eye on them. I would be concerned for homeowners that do not use a management company.

On Friday evening, a customer service representative for Atmos Energy said the outage seemed to affect homes south of Angler’s Drive, but at the time didn’t know how many homes were affected.

With low single-digit temperatures expected overnight, some residents could suffer permanent damage to their homes if their water pipes freeze, especially those using radiant floor heating systems. While a night or two may not cause any serious damage, people who are out of town could especially be at risk of coming home to a disaster. 

“We all know our neighbors,” Norloh said. “If I had known earlier, I could have potentially helped notify my neighbors if they have been out of town or something. And that’s this town, we all kind of look out for each other.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.