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Natural gas pipeline to Walsenburg washed out

LUDLOW- A flash flood on Thursday afternoon swept down out of the mountains to cleave through a buried natural gas pipeline as it crossed through an arroyo just north of Ludlow.

    Vince Koutnik, who was driving home from work in Trinidad on Thursday afternoon, remembered smelling the strong smell of natural gas, and looked to his right and saw a black pipe bobbing up and down in the arroyo as water gushed past it.  “I called 911 and reported a possible break,” Koutnik said.  “Aguilar had really gotten hammered by rain and hail.”

    Repair crews worked feverishly over the holiday weekend to replace over 300 feet of pipe to return service to most of Walsenburg and Aguilar.  Fortunately, this was not the middle of winter, but the cold showers quickly grew tiresome.

    By Sunday, the pipeline was fixed, and city crews started going door to door Sunday to light people’s pilot lights in their furnaces and water heaters.  By Monday evening, approximately half of Walsenburg was re-lit.­

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