Heavy rains and large amounts of snowfall can cause flooding any time of the year. Here are steps to take to keep you safe during, and after a flood.
If you smell natural gas leave the home or business immediately and call 911 on a cell phone outside the building or use a neighbor’s phone. Or, if you see damaged or downed power lines, leave the area immediately and call 911.
During a flood
- If it appears floodwaters may enter your home or business, or may reach your natural gas meter, call us immediately at 888-890-5554 to have service disconnected.
- Electric current passes easily through water, so don’t drive over or stand near downed power lines. If you see a downed power line, always treat it as if they are energized.
- For safety reasons, we will temporarily shut off natural gas service to customers who are affected by flooding.
- If you have time, unplug as many appliances as you can — including natural gas appliances. Note: We will not move furnaces, air conditioners or any other appliances to protect them from flooding damage — contact an HVAC dealer for this service.
After a flood
- If natural gas meters and appliances are submerged in flood waters, they must be inspected by a technician before service is restored. Call our customer service number at 888-890-5554.
- A Black Hills Energy technician must inspect the metering equipment and an appliance repair professional must inspect natural gas appliance equipment before service can be restored. Note: The home must be clear of any standing water.
- If your electric appliances and equipment have been under water, once dried out have them checked by a qualified repair person before use.
- Customers will need to work with their homeowner’s insurance carrier to discuss appliance and equipment repairs that may be required.
If you smell natural gas
- If any customer smells natural gas, they should leave the home or business immediately and call 911 on a cell phone outside the building or use a neighbor’s phone, then call us at 888-890-5554.
- Do not use the phone in the location where the smell of natural gas was detected or turn off any lights when exiting. If there is a natural gas leak, a spark could ignite it.
- Service Guard doesn’t cover acts of nature, including floods.
- A Black Hills Energy technician ensures the natural gas metering equipment is working properly, and an appliance repair professional inspects natural gas appliances and equipment prior to service restoration. If for some reason Black Hills Energy does perform a repair, a charge would apply.
- If we perform a relight after the area has been cleared of water, we may not be able to turn on the meter, or we may have to red tag appliances and leave them off, depending on the situation.
Other general assistance
- United Way: residents may call 2-1-1 with questions or concerns about the flooding and steps they should take.
- Army Corps of Engineers Hotline: 888-835-5971
- For more information on flood preparedness, visit the American Red Cross website or call 1 800 RED CROSS. Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:
- Prescriptions and emergency medications
- Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
- Identification to show residence is in affected area
- Important personal documents
- Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
- Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula, and toys
- Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled