Mt. ReDoubt Update: 4/3 @ 6:30 p.m.

The aviation color code at Mt. ReDoubt has been reduced to code orange.

Small earthquakes continue to occur at the rate of 3-4 per minute. Such activity is a sign of endogenous lava dome growth. In all likelihood, the current eruption cycle isn't over yet.

The Unified Command has announced plans to draw down some of the oil from the Drift River tank farm beginning tomorrow (see previous post).

With regard to how much oil will be drawn down, and the subsequent tank volumes following this procedure, the Unified Command stated in a news release today:

The total oil level between the two tanks is not intended to exceed 3.3 million gallons (80,000 barrels) at any time. The transfer will be conducted in two phases -- Phase one: The load out of oil currently stored at Drift River to tanker. Between the two tanks a total of about 1.6 million gallons (40,000 barrels) will remain at the facility. Phase two: Oil from upstream reserves at Trading Bay and Granite Point will be transferred to the Drift River storage to alleviate the critical storage pressures at those locations. The oil inventory in the Drift River Terminal tanks as a result of the transfer will not exceed about 3.3 million gallons (80,000 barrels).

Currently, only two of the seven-tanks are in use and together contain approximately 6.3 million gallons of oil (148,000 barrels). When drawn down the tanks will remain at a safe working level of about 1.6 million gallons (40,000 barrels) in each tank.

Governor Palin has still not issued a formal response with regard to the Drift River Oil Terminal, despite a declaration of emergency having been requested of her over a week ago. For many of us, Palin's inaction comes off as a callous disregard for the citizenry of Alaska while she pursues her own personal agenda. If you would like to voice your concern, why not contact her office?

Governor Sarah Palin (link to contact through Office of the Governor website); ph: (907) 465-3500; or email:

- photo of ash deposits on the upper Drift River valley by Game McGimsey AVO/USGS