Since this morning's eruption at Mt. ReDoubt, there have been reportings of a continuous small plume of mostly water vapor and gas reaching a height of about 15,000 feet. The winds continue in a southeasterly direction towards Homer.
With regard to the drawing down of oil at the Drift River Terminal originally scheduled for today, here are the pertinent excerpts from today's news release issued by the Unified Command:
* During an early morning eruption at Mt. Redoubt, 13 employees of Cook Inlet Pipe Line Company (CIPL) on site at the Drift River Terminal and the Christy Lee platform were in nearby safe havens.
* All 13 personnel are safe and currently assessing the terminal and platform. Initial reports are that there was no damage to the tank farm, containment berms and the protective dike. Some water was observed flowing over the previously affected runway. Water did enter one of the industrial buildings and damaged a generator necessary for oil transfer operations. Repairs are expected to take at least a day and a half.
* A Tesoro-chartered tanker scheduled to arrive earlier today at the Christy Lee platform to begin off-loading oil from the tank farm was turned around. It is currently planned to anchor in southern Cook Inlet. The Unified Command will identify an appropriate time for the vessel to return.
* Two barges from Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response Inc. in Seldovia are en route to the Nikiski area as a precaution. Immediately available primary response equipment in Cook Inlet is capable of handling a spill of 2.1 million gallons (50,000 barrels) a day. Additional equipment and personnel are standing by.
* Last night personnel working on scene at the terminal began pressure testing lines from the Drift River tank to the Christy Lee platform in preparation for oil removal. Approximately 6.3 million gallons (148,000 barrels) of oil currently remain in two tanks at the terminal. The intention to begin reducing the oil level in the tanks to about 3 million gallons of oil (80,000 barrels) from the facility today has been postponed pending the volcano’s activity.
* According to the Unified Command, once the immediate actions of reducing the oil currently stored at the terminal are complete additional plans for long-term operations and the further removal of oil stored at Granite Point and Trading Bay will be considered.