- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (AP) - Olive Branch city officials continue to work on improvements to the natural gas system after extreme winter temperatures earlier this year left some people in the cold.

The Commercial Appeal reports (https://bit.ly/1DPUzqv ) the extremely cold weather last winter taxed the capability of the natural gas system in January. As temperatures dipped into the teens and single digits, demand for heat caused low gas pressure at some homes and businesses.

Workers recently installed a 6-inch gas line to replace a 2-inch line in the Center Hill area of town to fix the pressure problem there. City engineer Steve Bigelow won approval from aldermen this week to hire engineering and consulting firm Fisher & Arnold, at a cost of up to $1,200, to help develop a solution for the Grassy Pond area, south of Byhalia Road.

The fix could probably be applied before bitter cold temperatures set in, Bigelow said.

While heating problems were a mere inconvenience for many, the low gas pressure put a commercial greenhouse at risk. Brussel’s Bonsai set out propane heaters to supplement the natural gas after temperatures dipped too low for the plants.

“We squeaked by,” said co-owner Brussel Martin. “Knock on wood, the improvements should cure our problem, and hopefully we won’t have as cold a winter.”

Olive Branch, the primary supplier of natural gas in the city, went to work on temporary fixes and long-term plans immediately after the low-pressure problem arose. Between $20,000 and $25,000 was spent to provide bigger piping and regulator upgrades to allow gas to flow more freely.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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