Sunday’s 6.1-magnitude earthquake in the Napa area caused all sorts of problems for Pacific Gas & Electric.
While it’s easy to spot power outages, it is a little harder to find gas leaks. PG&E typically relies on tips for leaks.
Now, the utility company is using a new piece of technology to pick up scents that human noses can’t.
“When there is an earthquake such as this one, we see wires down, we see damage to power poles and other equipment and, in some cases, we might see damage to our gas facilities,” PG&E spokesperson Brittany McKannay said.
The Picarro Surveyor, recently put into use by PG&E, is designed to detect natural gas in the air.
“So, we’re actually going to use our surveyors that walk on foot with handheld devices,” McKannay said.
Sunday, those devices helped crews head in the right direction to stop leaks.
Meanwhile, PG&E has also been working since the quake hit to restore power to thousands of customers in Napa and Sonoma counties.
“At the peak of the incident we had 70,000 customers without power,” McKannay told FOX40. “So, we have restored the majority of our customers, but we will have crews working throughout the night.”
PG&E warns those who turned their gas off themselves to not turn it back on themselves.