MONSON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Gas pressure is back to normal after a one-day scare in Monson and Palmer.
Columbia Gas reported the over-pressurized lines around one in the afternoon yesterday, bringing to mind the recent gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley.
Safety checks have now been completed throughout Monson following the event, the town administrator thankful that no major problems occurred, but wishing there was better communication from Columbia Gas.
"We received an e-mail yesterday from," Monson Town Administrator Evan Brassard tells us. "One of our folks in the media world, who had asked us to confirm information in a press release, and it was the first time we had seen the press release. In their press release, they say that the issue happened around 1:00 p.m., and we didn't receive any notification until 4:00, so about a three-hour gap there."
Brassard tells Western Mass News, as soon as they heard about the over-pressurized lines, they alerted the entire town.
"The concern is, obviously, that," continued Brassard. "We could have been taking steps here to protect the residents. Standing up our emergency operating center, [and] making sure we have fire personnel. We're a called department, so we could have more people in-house ready to go. Now, in their press release, they do say there's no concern at this time, but we're not really willing to take that chance. We'd rather stand up our resources, just in case, to be ready to respond and reassure the public that we're going to do what's necessary should something occur."
In statement to Western Mass News, Columbia Gas says:
"Operations have returned to normal and there was no damage or safety concerns relating to this event, where pressure in the pipeline briefly exceeded normal operating pressure. The pressure in the pipeline was well below what the system is tested for. This event did not pose a public safety risk."
Amy Soucy agrees with town officials.
With the deadly Merrimack Valley explosions still on everyone's mind, there should have been a faster notification from Columbia Gas.
"I have four children here, and," says Soucy. "They heard the messages and were a little bit alarmed, so it was something that we were aware of and paid attention to. Fortunately, everything worked out okay, and we're all still here and our home is in tack."
Columbia Gas says there were no major problems in Monson or Palmer with this over-pressurization event.
Western Mass News continues to follow this story and will have more starting at 5 p.m. on ABC40.