Crews worked throughout the night to restore heat to about 700 homes in the Santaquin area, which were without heat after Mountain Fuel Co.'s regulator station froze.
Susan Glasmann, spokeswoman for the company, said the gas was cut off about 9:30 p.m. because the regulator, which pumps gas through pipes to fuel furnaces, froze. "People had to go door-to-door to every single house and business in the area to shut off the meters, put the gas in the line, then go back to all the homes to turn meters on and check appliances and relight pilot lights," she said. "So it's a rather lengthy process."According to a Mountain Fuel dispatcher, there was no danger of a gas explosion but all the meters had to be shut off to help isolate the problem.
Despite an offer from Payson City officials to house Santaquin residents in a temporary shelter for the night, town residents decided to stay put and bundle up with electrical blankets, space heaters and wood burning stoves.
Santaquin Police Chief Ralph Coomes said Mountain Fuel crews had restored service throughout most of the city by 8 a.m. and that as far as he knew, no one took Payson City up on its offer of shelter.
Nevertheless, police arranged transportation through local LDS Church leaders, who were busy checking on the elderly.
It wasn't too bad," Coomes said. "Everyone appeared to work out pretty good for not having heat."
Coomes said fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are common in Santaquin and that many residents have electric space heaters.
"I didn't suffer too much, but I guess some people in town did," Santaquin Mayor Lynn Crook said. the temperature in his house had dropped to 55 degrees by the time fuel service was restored at 5:30 a.m.
Crook said residents were told to keep water running in their houses to prevent pipes from freezing.
William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge at the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service, said the overnight low was 3 below zero in Payson, the nearest town where figures were available.