Sierra Nevada Homeowners Urged To Watch Propane Tanks In Snow

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SODA SPRINGS (CBS13) — Those living in the Sierra are being warned to keep an eye on their properties. With another set of storms due this week, homeowners are urged to protect their propane tanks and natural gas lines that may suffer from heavy snow loads.

In Soda Springs, the community of Serene Lakes saw nearly a foot of snow on Wednesday. And with more snow on the way, many are doing what they can to take precautions.

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“It’s a lot of work,” said Tim Fitzpatrick.

Tim has been a long-time resident of Soda Springs and takes pride in protecting the propane tank that heats his home.

“I get all the snow off the top of the tank,” he said. “My wife and I spent 4-5 hours shoveling snow the other day. We keep a big horseshoe of space around the tank.”

Propane tanks and natural gas lines and valves can be damaged by deep snowpack resulting in gas leaks. And if the gas is exposed to an ignition source, it can ignite and blow up.

“It will go into the house and the house will slowly fill up with propane, and when your refrigerator or appliances turn on, it creates a spark, and you can have an explosion,” says Tim.

In 2010, the Serene Lakes neighborhood had to evacuate because of a gas leak and now Placer County officials are hoping residents in the Sierra are aware of the serious safety concerns.

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“People should be aware of where their gas lines are and watch the snow loads, and if they have any concerns they should reach out to professionals,” said Jeff Thomas with Placer County.

With more snow expected in the coming days, there’s also About heavy snow amounts on some of the old roofs, especially for buildings built before the county adopted snow-load standards in the early 1960s.

Officials also encourage people to check their roof vents and chimneys for proper ventilation.

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