LNG: They Said It Couldn’t Happen

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LNG. They said it couldn’t happen

Imagine Today is Tuesday July 5, 2016

Its 7:20am

An emergency alert has just been issued by National Maritime Administraton and Coast Guard for the Long Beach, NY barrier island including Atlantic Beach, Long Beach, Lido Beach and Point Lookout.

In case you are wondering why the fire horn/whistle has been sounding the last 10 minutes, at 6:55 this morning, the Port Ambrose liquid natural gas (LNG) port had a catastrophic accident. It is unclear whether this is a terrorist incident at this time.

As we all know

Point Lookout is the closest community to the project and thus at highest risk.

You’ll remember the port was approved back in 2013 and installed against the wishes of the communities of the South Shore, when the people were still recovering from Superstorm Sandy and the project, previously defeated and defeated again, was rammed through into the community in a rush with only one unpublicized public hearing.
They said this couldn’t happen.

Right now, the 990 foot long, 142 ft wide, 21 story high LNG tanker “Still Waters” is partially on fire, an unknown excessively large quantity of liquified gas leaks into the water.

That liquid is regasifiying into natural gas as it warms and combines with whatever air at the surface is available and expands to 600 times its liquid size.
The slick, visible as a frozen river by helicopter from a safe distance away, off Sandy Hook, NJ is hundreds of feet wide and runs out a mile ahead of the tanker. It is estimated the invisible, unscented gas cloud is hundreds of feet high spread out in a cone shape downwind of the tanker.

The crew is no longer responsive. They took unbelievable measures to put out the fire, but had to shut all electrical and combustion systems, including navigation, life safety and anchor systems aboard ship to avert further igniting the fuel.

The tanker now free floats in the 14 mph southerly winds and an unknown west moving current. Originally 19 miles away, it will run aground somewhere between Point Lookout and Long Beach, in less than an hour from now. Whether it will fully ignite is anybody’s guess. The only saving grace is it may run aground a few hundred yards from shore, but the spilled super chilled methane will keep coming ashore. It will continually be mixing with air as it regasifies into its combustible state.

Since they said this couldn’t happen, there is no maritime infrastructure in place to take care of a catastrophe like this.

It has been said that an LNG tanker explosion could have a blast radius of 1 mile out and “set off a fire so hot it would burn skin and damage buildings nearly a mile away”, But that doesn’t take into account if it has been leaking for an hour and a half prior. That’s assuming the blast would happen right away, where only a small percentage of the fuel combusts and then chokes itself off, unable to feed on oxygen. This is a completely different story by orders of magnitude.

7:25

The Point Lookout Lido fire department just came down the block, haphazardly rushing from door to door, announcing on the loudspeaker Mandatory evacuation of Point Lookout.

The fire department is even saying they have ordered all members to leave immediately once they are done. No one is to stay. Even at the quick rate that they are going, I sure hope they get out of town in time.

They say take your money, your pets, your keys, your car and leave immediately- no time for anything else. Head north and west as far as you can in the rush hour traffic. If you can, please switch your circuit breaker off as the airborne methane is likely to explode on contact with electricity or a spark. Not sure what this means for the hundreds of houses where no one is home right now. I think they are a match waiting to light a fuse. They say they are trying to get LIPA to shut down at the source, but there’s no precedent for this.

7:30
I’ve sent my family ahead in the other car. I have the pets and I’m leaving now to meet at our rendezvous point.

7:45. Luckily, I got past the swarm of panic stricken people fighting to get into the gas station and then all the Lido and Long Beach traffic that was backed up as far as the eye can see to get on the Loop Parkway. Traffic is backed up here. An accident in the usual place? I’ve only gained about a half mile, as the wind blows, in the first half hour. Cellular service is obviously overloaded and I can only reach others by text messages delivered with a long delay.

State Police just opened up the other side of the Loop Parkway to allow people to get out. They want everybody able, to take the southbound Meadowbrook Parkway lanes northbound where they will not be able to exit until a special staging area at Roosevelt Field will send them to alternate routes. Sounds like it will help alleviate the backup here at the shore and we’ll worry later where the heck we can go from there, once at a safe (?) distance. I don’t really know if this is safe, nobody has discussed this scenario.

All radio stations are telling all Nassau Residents north of Southern State Parkway to stay home and stay off the roads so everyone else can get out.

7:50. I am on the last Loop Parkway bridge before the Meadowbrook and someone just shouted “oh my god” pointing towards the ocean. I can see the huge tanker, smoking and way too close offshore. It could fill the entirety of Jones inlet and towers above puny Point Lookout’s Skyline by what looks like 10 times the height of the tallest house. It stretches the entire length of town. People ahead of me see it and some are screaming. I can hear children crying. Drivers are starting to panic and are screaming at each other. I finally round the one lane bend and make my way onto Meadowbrook Parkway and traffic is freed up.

This lasts only for a moment as an accident I can see way up ahead- multicar – has everybody stopping

I’m pretty sure we still need to be going 14 miles an hour, like the wind, to stay ahead of this thing. I’ve spent nearly an hour of this and gone 3 miles. And I got out right away.
I wonder about the masses of people trying to get out via the Long Beach Bridge. All the people still lined up on Lido Blvd trying to get onto the Loop Parkway.
I cannot imagine the chaos.
And now I’m stopped again. Drivers are crossing the median driving on the grass shoulders on both sides in a frenzy.

Won’t all those cars’ combustion engines ignite the gas cloud if it were to arrive now?
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With that, from the direction of Point Lookout, the bright morning sky becomes a flash so bright that I am disoriented.

I now see a cloud of fire and smoke towards the shore that must be a thousand feet high, and several times as wide. The water tower and wind turbine are dwarfed, mere toys quickly enveloped. It obscures the view of the tanker and is coming this way – it looks like the air is on fire. Hundreds of fire breathing clouds roll in the air, shoulder to shoulder and one over another like a breaking ocean wave of one million protruding fires and it this way comes.

But they said this couldn’t happen.

Do you prefer the ending where it doesn’t explode, it just asphyxiates and poisons every living creature in its path?

This is if course pure fiction. It could never happen, right?

Think you’re ok in Atlantic Beach Because you don’t feature in my story? The tie in to the existing pipeline running into Long Beach is only 2 miles off your shore – that’s a whole other area where problems can happen and all sorts of leaks can happen.

Thankfully Right now this is an impossibility to happen. It is only an impossibility as long as we don’t have the LNG port off of Point Lookout / Jones Beach.

The ONLY public hearing on it: TOMORROW!!!

Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Location: Allegria Hotel
80 West Broadway, Long Beach
Hearing: 6 pm to 8 pm

After you place your vote at the firehouse, head right over to Long Beach to be heard.

please see our previous post “Liquid Natural Gas Port Off Pt Lookout!?” for more in-depth info.

the map from the project, with my annotations. Courtesy of the Port Ambrose Project.

the map from the project, with my annotations. Courtesy of the Port Ambrose Project.

According to Clean Ocean Action Millions of gallons of seawater WILL BE CONTAMINATED and released to float onto our beaches and towns during building, and in an ongoing fashion as just part of operations at a facility such as this.

This is also scheduled to be in the area already designated for the offshore wind farms, probably keeping those from ever happening. The offshore wind farm will do 100 times more for keeping prices in check because it is a different energy source, the fuel is free, and it saves on pollution and carbon emissions.
It is clean energy available during peak demand periods. This keeps all other forms of energy prices low. There is no spiking because there is more wind (and solar too) exactly in times of spiking demand.

Just having more natural gas on hand when it spikes doesn’t really do anything except have more on hand to profit on as you sell at the higher price, because it’s not a competing force.

The Company says that the best thing is – it’s being done without any public funds, but I beg to differ.
We are insuring them against some kind of major disaster and everyday expected spills with our air, water, and property. How much is that worth? Are you going to be able to collect from a company that operates out of the Cayman Islands when your health, property, air, water is ruined?

Is the old pipeline under Long Beach ready to handle the huge influx of gas, either import or export? And do people from Long Beach even know about it?
There’s been reports last 3 weeks about a gas smell in Long Beach no one can figure out. Just saying.

Did you know National Grid is also jamming through a new pipeline through Gateway National Park in Queens/Brooklyn. Check that out. Residents seem powerless. Same situation for Breezy Point residents as they rebuild!

Gas pipeline poised to slash through NYC National Park

Tuesday I am doing my civic duty and will vote in the fire deparent bond issue, then I am immediately heading over to the Allegria to let them know we don’t need it. I urge you to join me. I hope to see you there.

Related LNG Articles:

Even LNG Worldwide News posts

“After the application was announced on June 14, the project sponsor subsequently released fifteen hundred pages of a four thousand plus page application that federal agencies have found to be still incomplete in more than one hundred and fifty specific areas. Despite the length, technical complexity, and incomplete nature of the material, the public is required to read, analyze and meaningfully comment on the application by July 23.”

Safe harbor?
Boston officials deal with LNG tanker issues.
http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2010/06/safe-harbor/

AP: LNG Tanker Attack Would Be Devastating
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2004/12/20/ap-lng-tanker-attack-would-be-devastating/

See what a tanker like this would look like
http://gcaptain.com/q-max-lng-tankers/

LNG Tanker Blast Would Impact Mile Radius
http://evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=7208

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4 thoughts on “LNG: They Said It Couldn’t Happen

  1. Pingback: LI LNG and the Media Silence | making my point

  2. Pingback: LNG: What’s the Problem? | making my point

  3. Pingback: Time to Act: LNG or Not | making my point

  4. Pingback: LI LNG and the Media Silence | making my point

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