DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — The life-threatening weather is creating high energy demands for those in DeSoto County who receive gas from ATMOS Energy.

According to reports, a few hundred customers reported no gas or very low gas pressure Friday morning.

“I think it’s ridiculous. It’s not natural for the South to be this cold. It’s just not right,” said Debi Lineberger of DeSoto County.

The rare weather event is causing a strain on the natural gas service in DeSoto County, where some 360 customers woke up with no gas or low gas pressure, which affected their heat and hot water.

“There’s no question that the historical weather and low temperatures that DeSoto County’s experiencing has had an impact on our system,” said Bobby Morgan, the VP of Public Affairs at ATMOS Energy.

Morgan says crews have been working to restore service to those affected but admits the bitter cold attack has gas usage up, especially in DeSoto County.

“We’re doing all we can to maintain gas service for customers, making sure that we’re making adjustments to make sure that gas is flowing to our customers, commercial, residential, industrial,” said Morgan.

ATMOS is asking customers in DeSoto County to voluntarily take steps to conserve gas usage. They are asked to lower their thermostat to 68 degrees and lower their water heater temperature to 120 degrees.

There are other gas-saving steps as well.

Morgan recommends “Reducing shower times, avoiding baths, doing things like turning off electronic devices and turning off lights that are not in use.”

Debi Lineberger says she’s not quite ready to lower her thermostat while it’s so cold. “Ours isn’t up that high, so I don’t feel we should have to compromise any further,” she said.

ATMOS says, with the exception of DeSoto County, their system is performing fine throughout the Mississippi service area.

We’re told the customers impacted by Friday’s natural gas interruption live in Southaven, and their service should be fully restored by Friday night.