Peoples Gas Continues Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts in Southwest Florida

Utility welcomes Senator Rick Scott and contributes to Red Cross in Fort Myers

In the wake of Hurricane Ian, Peoples Gas continues recovery efforts and community support in Fort Myers. Today, company leaders and members of the storm recovery team welcomed Senator Rick Scott, Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman and Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson to their operations base camp to participate in the morning safety briefing.

“We were honored to share our Hurricane Ian response efforts with Senator Scott, Commissioner Hamman and Mayor Anderson this morning,” said Timothy O’Connor, Vice President of Operations, Sustainability and External Affairs. “I am so proud of the work our team is doing, and was pleased to have the opportunity to update our distinguished guests with our progress. We are in this together.”

Peoples Gas began its post-storm activation in Southwest Florida almost immediately after Hurricane Ian made landfall. Team members from the company’s service areas across the state dispatched to Sarasota and Fort Myers to assist with damage assessment. Although the Sarasota area sustained high winds, flooding and power outages, the natural gas system fared well and by Tuesday, Oct. 4, 99 percent of customers had service. In Fort Myers, crews are prioritizing response activities to an area west of Highway 41 where the majority of the physical damage from the storm was sustained. They have inspected approximately 12,000 meters to date out of about 15,700 meters in that area. In addition to door-to-door assessment, Peoples Gas deployed three MobileGuard methane detection vehicles to patrol the entire Fort Myers system. The mobile inspection is 70 percent complete and no leaks have been detected.

In addition to its field response, Peoples Gas is identifying ways to support those who were most significantly impacted by the storm. Today, company leaders presented a check for $50,000 to the Southeast and Caribbean Division of the American Red Cross.

“Our thoughts are with all who experienced the devastation of Hurricane Ian and we hope they are safe,” said Helen Wesley, President of Peoples Gas. “We are pleased to partner with the Red Cross. They are well positioned to offer critical assistance and disaster relief, and we know this contribution will help meet immediate needs right here in Fort Myers.”

The company expects post-storm recovery and restoration activities to extend through the weekend and reminds customers to keep safety in mind during this time:

  • If you smell natural gas (the odor of rotten eggs) or notice damage to natural gas equipment, move to safety, call 911, then call Peoples Gas at 877-832-6747.
  • Ask for ID. All Peoples Gas team members and contractors have photo ID badges. For safety reasons, a gas technician may need to access the appliances in your home or business. Always ask to see an ID before allowing entry.
  • Use care when clearing fallen trees and other debris. Call 811 and allow at least two full business days before digging roots, repairing fences or doing other work that requires digging to avoid damaging underground utility lines. Please be patient and wait for local utilities to mark the area with flags or paint, making it easier to dig safely.

Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serves more than 445,000 homes and businesses across the state. The company’s mission is to make life better for communities by delivering safe, resilient, efficient and affordable natural gas energy solutions. Through investments in people, technology, infrastructure and environmentally focused innovations, the company is committed to fueling Florida’s clean energy future responsibly and sustainably. Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. To learn more about the benefits of natural gas for Florida, visit FloridasEnergy.com. Find more information about the company, its culture, career opportunities and community investments at PeoplesGas.com.

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Members of the Peoples Gas storm recovery team were honored to welcome Senator Rick Scott, Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman and Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson to their operations base camp in Fort Myers.

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Anna Trefethan, Division Vice President (center), and Mike Ryan, Division Fundraising Vice President (second from left), of the Southeast and Caribbean Division of the American Red Cross, accept Peoples Gas’ $50,000 donation from Kandi Floyd, Director of External Affairs, Scott Ruble, Director of Operations for the South Territory, Timothy O’Connor, Vice President of Operations, Sustainability and External Affairs, and Joann Wehle, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications.

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