CLARKSVILLE, IN (December 27, 2022) – The Town of Clarksville was forced to issue an alert to residents on Christmas eve after dozens of residents experienced carbon monoxide issues inside their homes. Since the first incident, Clarksville Firefighters have responded to more than 100 cases of gas/carbon monoxide leaks.
In order to keep the public informed of the current situation, the Town of Clarksville held a media availability today at the Clarksville Fire Headquarters. Clarksville Fire Chief Brandon Skaggs discussed the timeline of events from the time the first call was received, to today’s status. Clarksville Town Manager Kevin Baity was also available to discuss the next steps in this matter.
UPDATE – 12/27/23 at 2:25pm
Centerpoint Energy officials released the following statement:
“At this time, there is no indication of issues with CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas system, and it continues to operate safely. Since calls began coming in on the morning of Christmas Eve, we have been working with the Clarksville and New Albany Fire Departments to respond to the increase in carbon monoxide calls in the area, including having local management from CenterPoint Energy Operations on the ground to support Clarksville and New Albany emergency responders.
We always take emergency calls very seriously and have responded to, and investigated, the potential causes of carbon monoxide. We found the majority of calls CenterPoint Energy responded to were due to improper appliance venting. Additionally, the extreme weather, including freezing temperatures, high wind gusts and snow/ice accumulation were also contributing factors to further issues with customer appliances as their equipment was stressed during the event.
As is industry practice, CenterPoint Energy has utilized a propane air mix to supplement natural gas to assist during times of high system demand. The propane-air peak shaving plant which serves a portion of the area has been in service since the 1970s and is regularly monitored and maintained to industry standards. It has been used during past extreme weather events, including last year during a similar cold weather event, to help safely and reliably deliver natural gas service to customers in the Clarksville and New Albany areas.
We want to echo our earlier reminder on exercising caution when utilizing fuel-burning appliances. Carbon monoxide can result from incomplete combustion, and proper venting is essential to ensure safe use. We will continue to partner with local agencies and assess any issues that may arise. Our thoughts are with those families who have been affected during the holidays.”
Director, Government Affairs