In light of a strong spring snowstorm that has dumped a foot or more of snow on many parts of southeast Wyoming over the past 24 hours, Black Hills Energy officials are reminding people about the importance of keeping natural gas meters free of snow and ice.

A news release from the utility reminds people snow and ice buildup can shut off gas service and create a safety hazard. Customers are being advised to take the following precautions:

  • Gently clear snow away by hand or with a broom. You’ll put yourself and everyone nearby at serious risk if you strike and damage any part of the meter with a shovel, ice pick or other tool. And you could be liable for expensive damage.
  • Keep snow blowers and shovels away from gas meters and other above-ground equipment.
  • Carefully clear snow away from the outdoor vent on high-efficiency furnaces. The furnace won’t run safely and efficiently if the vent is blocked.
  • Safely remove icicles hanging from overhead eaves that could fall and damage gas meters below.
  • Point out the meter and any other above-ground utility structures to anyone you hire for snow removal.

Anyone who thinks they have a gas leak should get everyone out of the building immediately and call Black Hills Energy's emergency number at 1-800-694-8989. You should avoid touching any switches or electronics to avoid creating a spark which could set off a gas explosion.