Two compressor stations have been shut down on Texas Eastern Transmission due to Hurricane Sandy, one in Suffern, NY and the other in Lambertville, NJ, a spokesperson for parent Spectra Energy said Monday.
The Lambertville compressor is located where the two parallel main branches of the Texas Eastern pipeline system merge into a single path toward New York City. This is also the connection point between the Texas Eastern and Algonquin Gas Transmission systems.
The monster storm sweeping across the Northeast region, from the mid-Atlantic to New England, appeared to be hitting hardest early Monday at an area between Philadelphia and New York City. It was due to spread inland and northward into New England.
Various Columbia Gas utilities told customers in several states that they were preparing for Hurricane Sandy and issued a series of safety precautions for residents who live near natural gas facilities.
Meanwhile, Enterprise Products Partners LP said it was continuing to monitor the storm but had not shut down any of its facilities in the Northeast.
NiSource Inc. utility subsidiaries of Columbia Gas warned customers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Virginia that hurricane force winds can uproot trees, which in turn can damage natural gas meters or pull underground utility lines above ground. Customers were warned that if they smell a strong gas odor outdoors to leave the area, or if inside a building to leave the building. Under both scenarios, customers were told to call 911.
Customers inside a building where there is a gas smell were advised not to smoke, make sparks or flames, switch lights on or off or raise or lower windows. The utility also warned that flooding could damage gas meters and regulators, or cause homes to shift and possibly stress gas piping, which could cause a gas leak.
“If flooding has been severe, natural gas appliances should not be used until inspected by a licensed plumber or contractor,” Columbia said in a statement to customers in Massachusetts. “Do not attempt to place natural gas appliances back in service yourself. A licensed plumber or contractor will check, clean, repair and pressure test all gas pipes, which may have been clogged with mud or debris.”
Enterprise spokesman Rick Rainey told NGI that the closest facilities to the storm that it operates are a natural gas liquids (NGL) terminal in Providence, RI, and a propane terminal at Selkirk, NY. Both are still operational.
“At this time we’re following our hurricane plan,” Rainey said Monday. “We have not had any operational shutdowns. Everything remains operational, at least for now. We’re continuing to monitor the situation and we’ll make changes as necessary. We don’t expect the storm surge to cause us to have to shut down [the Providence terminal] as far as the tanks and being able to load.”
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