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Monday, March 23, 2009

Bring it on, Big Boy!

Stratovolcano! Has a real ring to it, doesn't it?
Well, the much predicted (and, I must say, vaunted) eruption of veteran Alaskan stratovolcano Mt. Redoubt is underway. A "thin film" of ash was reported to me from Willow this morning, but so far no major complications seem to have arisen from the high ash cloud.
Of course, real concern exists for the safety of the Drift River Oil Loading Facility which sits, for all intents and purposes, at the base of the mountain. The Anchorage Daily News reports:
"The AVO staff also warned authorities at the Drift River Oil Terminal -- on the western shore of Cook Inlet downriver from the volcano -- that mud flows and flooding from melting glaciers might be headed their way.
Cook Inlet Pipe Line Co., which operates the terminal, said early this morning that it had begun shutting the facility down.
At a 3 a.m. press conference today, John Powers of AVO said given the hot material landing on snow, mud and snow slides could be expected and staff would check the Drift River area at first light today.
Protective dikes have been constructed at the terminal since Redoubt last erupted nearly 20 years ago..
Powers also said -- looking at the history of Redoubt eruptions -- that this event could be expected to go on for some time, even months."

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