Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sure, many of us in this town have been chiding Jindal for his excessive travel, his hypocrisy on ethics reform, his approval of an act sponsored by the Louisiana Family Forum designed to introduce "creative thinking" in science classrooms, his announcement that the state is closing the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital, his slashing of funding for the arts here...and, of course, his dis of funding for volcano monitoring.

Let's put that last one into a little more perspective...

I give you, via Sophmom, some links to A Spit In The Ocean, the blog of a fellow who resides in Homer, Alaska, across the water from Mount ReDoubt, which is currently dumping a lot of ash on the area. His most recent dispatch reveals that he's had to "secure the home front". :

Mt. ReDoubt erupted twice this morning. The first eruption occurred at 8:30, which sent a plume of ash and gas 30,000 ft into the air. The second eruption occurred at 9:24, which sent a plume 65,000 ft into the air....

...The prevailing winds were not in our favor during these eruptions. At the present moment, ashfall is coming down in Homer, and it's a real mess. Face masks are the current vogue.

There's also a little something that no one in the national press has touched on just yet:

Chevron owns and operates an extensive system of crude oil and natural gas pipelines in the United States. They also own numerous tank farms to support this system; one of which happens to be at the base of Mt. ReDoubt where the Drift River empties into Cook Inlet. That's right, Chevron built an oil tank farm at the base of an active volcano on the shores of Cook Inlet.

Up until now, Chevron has refused to divulge how much oil is being harbored at the tank farm. They have remained silent, standing behind the pretense of The Homeland Security Act.

Only after ReDoubt erupted numerous times at the beginning of the week did Chevron finally come forth and reveal that there are over 6 million gallons of oil contained in two of the seven tanks at the terminal. Chevron evacuated their personnel from the facility on Monday.

Chevron issued a press release and photos just yesterday, claiming in their written statement that the dikes and containment walls have performed as intended, although the photos exhibit clearly that the containment walls are being stressed. Mud flow and debris have topped the outside dike, and buildings have been damaged at the terminal.

Mt. ReDoubt is only 9 miles from the Chevron facility, and the Drift River is currently flooding because of the recent eruptions. The high water marks on the valley walls are estimated at 20 - 25 ft. The lahars from an eruption displace massive chunks of glacial ice and rock, some as big as houses, which are then swept downstream by the Drift River. Deposits from the lahars during the last major eruption in 1990 buried structures at the mouth of the Drift River.

The post about Chevron's oil tank farm states that the company has been called on to remove the tanks. I wonder which side Bobby J would support?

Speaking of other current disasters, help out the folks in Fargo, ND, any way you can at this time. The river is rising there, and lives are in danger.

1 comment:

Sophmom said...

Thanks, darlin'! It really does seem like all hay-ul's breakin' loose. Y'all are getting pounded tonight.