Early on Sunday morning the residents in the village of Hoylandswaine, Barnsley, alerted us to a problem of poor gas pressures. After further investigations we discovered water in our gas pipe and that resulted in no gas getting to the village. We quickly deployed 40 colleagues from across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire to support over 400 homes. Over the next 46 hours our engineers and on site teams worked tirelessly to pump out over 5000 litres of water with two tankers pumping water from the pipe simultaneously.
This was a mammoth task given the ever-changing weather conditions including four inches of snow – getting everyone’s heating back on was our top priority. The local councils came out in force to help us get to the village in the snowy weather, supporting us with snow ploughs and gritters to clear the roads so we could access all properties.
By Sunday evening, our engineers successfully switched off supplies to all properties whilst the teams worked through the night to locate and extract the water. We needed to ensure all gas supplies were safely switched off and the water removed before we could start to restore the gas to each home and business. On Tuesday, we started to turn gas supplies back on in a phased approach to ensure we could perform all the necessary safety checks.
We prioritised residents on the Priority Services Register, providing additional assistance and welfare checks as needed. Our communications team set up an incident webpage and social media channels to ensure we kept residents updated with safety advice and videos. We also worked closely with the local councils, media and community groups to provide regular progress updates.
The incident team was led by Director of Network Strategy, John Duckworth and Eastern Network Customer Experience Manager, Jade Kirk.
Jade Kirk said: “Our teams have worked tirelessly through the festive period to get our customers on supply as soon as it was safe to do so. Their dedication was amazing. We’re also so grateful of the support we received from Barnsley Council, Penistone Town Council, Northern Powergrid and the British Red Cross in helping us reach out to around 90 customers in a vulnerable situation as a priority. Great team effort!”
We would like to thank all the residents of Hoylandswaine for their patience and support whilst we dealt with the incident, especially during the challenging weather conditions and under strict COVID guidance.