The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Gas leak causes gas outages across Palouse region

Excavator ruptured gas pipeline, businesses, citizens without gas for immediate future

A major gas outage in the region began Wednesday after an excavator ruptured a gas pipeline.

“As a result of this incident … Avista crews will likely have to disconnect gas service to impacted customers,” An Avista press release said.

The gas outage has affected several cities, including Pullman, Moscow and Lewiston. Citizens and businesses both have experienced the effects of the outage.

“Most of the WSU Pullman campus has been switched to an alternative heat source and will remain open and operational, and classes will proceed as scheduled,” a statement from WSU reads. “The Compton Union Building will remain open overnight for WSU Pullman faculty, staff, and students whose heating may be affected by this outage.”

The rupture caused the road to become shut down Northbound near Albion Road and Southbound to the North Pullman bypass, said Rich, badge number X261, a Dispatcher for Washington State Patrol. 

All residents were evacuated within a half-mile radius. The highway reopened later that afternoon after two hours.

Sam Harper, Rico’s Public House upfront manager, said they are one of the businesses affected by the outages. At the moment, Rico’s is unable to operate either their grill, fryer or heating system.

“We’re still selling cold sandwiches and try to sell people beer if they still want it,” Harper said. “Our heating system as well is not working, so we actually have a mandate from my boss that if we get below a certain temperature we’re going to close early for the night.”

Harper said he is not sure when the appliances may be operational again. He said he was called by utilities and they said they may have the work done today or Friday but currently are not sure. Rico’s ended up closing at 10 p.m. after the temperature inside droped below 62 degrees.

Jake Williams, Hillside Cafe associate manager, said Hillside is still in service amidst the outage, although they have had to change their menu to adapt to the situation.

“We’re not going to shut down fully, we’ll be able to provide some kind of option to everyone here,” Williams said. “It’s not going to be what the menu was planned due to the lack of equipment, but we’ll still have food and production for the foreseeable future.”
Williams said flattops, fryers, ovens and their heating system are the devices currently out of operation. He has seen a few different emails about the situation, but none have given a concrete time for service to be reactivated, with the first one he saw being 12 a.m. Thursday.

“The initial [projected reactivation time] was 12 o’clock tonight. Probably it might go a little longer than that but it depends on how long it takes to get it mixed,” he said. “It could be two days or a day, but that’s all I’ve been told from the emails that have been shared from me, so not a lot.”

Junior zoology major Emma Norris said she found out about the situation in the early evening.

“My roommate’s boyfriend is here doing laundry for her since they’re going on a trip tomorrow,”
Norris said. “He was talking about how the dryers are not drying, they’re just cold, spinning wet clothes.”

Norris said she also noticed the heaters in her apartment are not operating very well. She is upset about the news because it will affect her ability to use the gas in her daily life, including doing laundry and warming her apartment.

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About the Contributors
GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen news co-editor
Gabrielle is a sophomore multimedia journalism major from Bremerton, WA. Gabrielle has worked for the evergreen since Oct. 2022.
JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor
Josiah is a sophomore broadcast journalism and broadcast production double major. He is from Lakewood, Washington and began working for the Evergreen in Fall 2021.