A ruptured natural gas pipeline north of Prince George yesterday evening has FortisBC asking customers to limit natural gas use this morning.

That includes homes and businesses in the South Okanagan.

“As a result of the incident affecting the Enbridge pipeline that feeds our system, we are anticipating decreased energy flow and potential loss of service,” said FortisBc spokesperson Diana Sorace early this morning.

“FortisBC is requesting all of our natural gas customers across the province to turn off their thermostats, as well as reduce use of all other natural gas appliances.”

The rupture included a spectacular explosion about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday evening. According to the Prince George Citizen, “an intense orange glow topped by a large plume of smoke dominated the skyline in that direction for some time as firefighters, ambulance and police rushed to the scene.”

The rupture resulted in the evacuation of up to 80 people.

Enbridge is reporting emergency crews are on-site, “have isolated and are currently depressurizing two natural gas transmission lines in the vicinity to contain the incident.”

No timeline was given as to its repair or return to normal operation.

“Although FortisBC’s system is not damaged, we are working hard to continue to provide the energy flow to your homes and businesses,” said Ms. Sorace. “We are monitoring the situation and will provide updates.”

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