Tioga

Tioga, shown here in 2015, experienced a citywide natural gas outage Tuesday.

Fifty technicians from Montana-Dakota Utilities were en route to Tioga Tuesday evening to restore natural gas service to 1,100 customers after a citywide outage. 

MDU spokesman Mark Hanson said a disruption in MDU's supply occurred Tuesday afternoon. He said he didn't yet have all the details on the cause, though the supplier had been conducting maintenance.

"So the process is we need to shut off the gas meters to every residence and then we have to purge our system, clear any remaining gas in there, then the supply will be put back into our system and then our techs have to go out back of each residence, turn the gas back on and relight the natural gas appliances," Hanson said. 

MDU had planned to have all gas meters shut off in Tioga by 9 or 10 p.m. Tuesday before relighting anything.

The city's high school, which has coal heat, has been opened as a shelter for residents without heat, according to Tioga Police Officer Mia Lefever.

Service techs were traveling from Williston, Dickinson, Watford City, Minot and Bismarck, as well as Miles City and Glendive, Mont. 

"It's cold so we want to get (the outage) taken care of as quickly as we can," Hanson said.

Tuesday's overnight low in Tioga was expected to dip down to 12 degrees and only climb another 3 degrees for the high, according to the National Weather Service.  

Lefever said MDU has prioritized Tioga's nursing home and hospital.

Technicians were expected to work through the night, according to Hanson.

"This will be a lengthy process," Hanson said.

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

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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Crime and Courts Reporter