OKLAHOMA CITY, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Our hearts are with our neighbors in Moore, Oklahoma, and the surrounding area, and we're committed to assisting with the community's recovery from this horrible event.
Southern Star's interstate natural gas transmission pipeline was impacted when yesterday's tornado hit the Old Truss Bridge near where I-44 crosses the Canadian River. First responders closed I-44 until debris could be removed. Southern Star was notified at approximately 4:10 p.m. CDT.
Southern Star immediately isolated the impacted pipeline segment. Crews closed valves at either end of the segment, depressurized the line and blew the gas from the line. Company personnel ensured the site was safe and in compliance with all applicable laws. These procedures are standard in such situations.
Southern Star's pipeline and two other pipelines owned by a different company cross the Canadian River at this site. Southern Star's pipeline broke away from its braces on the bridge when the bridge was partially blown away, but its pipeline did not crack, leak, or rupture. Southern Star's communications systems continued to operate throughout the storm. This better enabled the Company to get current information about the state of its system in the area when field personnel were not able to immediately access the site.
The pipeline continues to be intact, and reports indicate it may be safely operated to carry gas to customers. Repairs to the impacted section of line will begin as soon as it is possible to safely do so. Southern Star will continue to work with ONG and ODOT as the preferred repair method is determined, the surrounding area recovers and repairs are made.
The majority of Southern Star's customers in the area never lost service. Some customers temporarily lost service when the initial safety precautions were taken. The Company used its system's unique configuration and worked with Lumen Midstream, one of its customers, to better ensure its customers continued to receive safe, reliable service.
All customers were notified of the situation with Southern Star's system within two hours of the incident. Southern Star has also notified its customers of possible service interruptions going forward while necessary repairs are made. Detailed information about impacts to service is available on Southern Star's customer portal.
"Repairing our pipeline is critical, but even more important is restoring this community," said Jerry Morris, President & CEO. "We operate throughout the Midwest and are, unfortunately, all too familiar with the destruction and heartache tornadoes cause. Almost exactly two years ago our families, landowners and customers in Joplin, Missouri faced this type of devastation. In 2007, our families, landowners and customers in Greensburg, Kansas lost their town. Now, our families, landowners, and customers in Moore face the same loss. Like Joplin, Moore will rebuild. We're here, and our commitment is here."
About Southern Star -
Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. ("Central"), headquartered in Owensboro, Kentucky, is a natural gas transmission system spanning over 6,000 miles in the Midwest and Mid-continent regions of the United States. Southern Star's pipeline facilities are located throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Wyoming, Colorado and Texas. It serves major markets such as the Kansas City metropolitan area, Wichita, Kansas and the Joplin/Springfield, Missouri areas.
SOURCE Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.