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Washington Gas Reports Outage During Record Demand

Extreme cold sent demand to record levels Tuesday in Washington Gas Light's service territory, and the company said some of its equipment in Potomac, MD, failed under the stress of high usage, leaving about 660 customers without gas for about 24 hours.

"It was a weather-related event. We had record breaking demand, and it just got to a point where this little isolated section of our system lost service," said Washington Gas Light spokeswoman Jan Davis. "We had plenty of gas, but a regulator [failed]. I don't think it was a freeze-off situation, just incredible demand on the regulator."

Washington Gas restored service in the affected area at 3:10 a.m. Wednesday and visited most customers in the area to restore service to their homes by relighting their furnace pilot lights. As of 7 a.m., about 399 of the 660 customers had their natural gas service restored.

Davis said the company was still trying to determine how much demand it served Tuesday, but she said it was a record. Its previous record of 1.548 Bcf was set on Jan. 23, 2005, as sub-freezing temperatures gripped the Washington, DC metropolitan region. The company serves about one million customers in Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland.

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