Mount Redoubt initially erupted on March 22, 2009 at 10:38 PM, followed by several other eruptions, with the most significant occurring on April 4, 2009. The resultant lahars (or volcanic mudflows) caused extensive flooding at the Drift River Oil Terminal (DROT). However, no oil or hazardous substance releases occurred from either of the two operational tanks. No damage to the protective tertiary dike system or the individual tank secondary containment systems occurred during these significant lahar flooding events.
On March 31, 2009 an Incident Command Post was activated at the Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage. A Unified Command (UC) consisting of the USCG FOSC, ADEC SOSC, and the CIPL Incident Commander was established and provided unified response objectives. The primary objectives are to ensure the protection of citizens and response personnel and the protection of the environment. To better facilitate meeting these objectives, three workgroups (Facility Restart/Oil Movement, Spill Response, and Lahar/Flood Forecasting) were established and daily Incident Action Plans were generated.
On April 6, 2009 the T/V Seabulk Arctic completed the transfer of approximately 60% of the crude oil from the two tanks in service at the DROT facility. Both operational tanks were ballasted with seawater as a precaution to keep the tanks from floating, if a significant flood should occur at the facility.
On the evening of April 6, 2009 all CIPL crew were safely evacuated from the DROT and Christy Lee loading platform. The command post was deactivated on April 7, 2009 and response personnel were placed on standby.
The UC will continue to meet every Tuesday to discuss the situation and determine additional actions as necessary.
The Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council hosted a town hall meeting in Kenai on April 7, 2009, and the Unified Command briefed the public on the Drift River Terminal situation. Approximately 80 people attended, including people who called in on the telephone.