blown up into the interstice of the double-walled piping.
With most of the UST equipment below ground, or at least
below the shear valve, we hoped for the best and maybe were
even naïve enough to expect no problems at all. Lesson learned:
never underestimate the power of Mother Nature. Throughout
this process, we gained a new appreciation for some practical
concepts that may be of value to other communities in future
• emergency-response plan. Many facilities have an
emergency-response plan. If your customers (or your facilities) don’t, they should. In more than one store, fast-thinking
store clerks saved lives by telling everyone to get in the cooler.
• after-emergency plan. An after-emergency plan is just
as important. Once the immediate threat is over, other
secondary issues arise. In Joplin, the power was knocked out
before the tornado actually hit so the pumps were off when
the damage occurred. Ironically, the power failure helped
prevent releases. At one facility, substantial damage compromised the building’s integrity, requiring the facility to be
closed. Unfortunately, no one shut off the power when they
closed the building (since the power to the facility was down
at the time, they just didn’t think of it). When the power
came back, though, the pumps pressurized the lines. The
exposed, but closed, shear valve had to hold all that pressure.
Second Quarter 2012 | PEI JOURNAL | 5 3