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TransCanada to restore gas services to some Manitoba homes today

TransCanada crews work on a gas pipeline leak that occurred just outside Otterburne, Man., on Jan. 27, 2014.


TransCanada Corp. expects natural gas service to be restored later today to some of the Manitoba homes where a pipeline explosion cut the heating fuel supply over the weekend. As temperatures in the area remain frigid, service to the rest of the affected buildings should be restored by midday Tuesday.

"It's a temporary bypass until we can get the full line repair done," TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said.

Mr. Howard added that the cause of the cause of the explosion won't be known for weeks, or even months. "In the meantime, all we care about is getting this back."

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SaskEnergy, the Crown-owned utility, is sending crews and trailers with compressed natural gas to Manitoba Hydro stations.

The Saskatchewan government says the gas trailers will be hooked up to the stations to keep emergency facilities running.

Natural Gas service was interrupted following a huge explosion at a TransCanada Pipelines valve site near St. Pierre-Jolys early Saturday morning. The blast prevented the company from supplying gas to Manitoba Hydro, which had to inform customers that service was out for at least a day.

Many of the 4,000 residents of southeastern Manitoba affected bythe explosion proved to be creative and resilient.

Steve Cope was using an electric fireplace and two portable space heaters to keep his two-storey home in Niverville warm as the temperature outside dipped to near -30 degrees.

"One [space heater] we've got actually facing the cold-air return on our furnace, so it's kind of blowing that air into that cold-air return. And we have the fan running on the furnace so it's kind of circulating throughout the house," Cope said.

SaskEnergy crews will help Manitoba Hydro reconnect customers once the line owned by TransCanada PipeLines is repaired.

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SaskEnergy has "mutual assistance" agreements with all Canadian gas utilities.

With a report from The Canadian Press

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