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Centerpoint’s Virden said the apartments were using an auxiliary heating unit because they have an “interruptible contract” with CenterPoint.
The contract is optional and is used when there is peak demand for natural gas, she said. That type of contract allows large businesses to use alternative heat sources for, at most, a couple of days and to save money on their gas rates.
Apartment residents had the good fortune of living close to two emergency destinations: a multi-screen movie theater and the Hampton Inn, just down the street.
Nathan and Kerry Hochhalter and their two children stayed at the motel overnight so that broken glass could be cleaned from their apartment. They were a little unsettled by the explosion outside their building. But being from North Dakota, they weren’t fazed by the wind and cold.
“People here comment about the wind and I say, ‘This is nothing compared to what we’re used to,’ ” Kerry Hochhalter said.
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