How Do Flash Floods Make Oil Pipelines Dangerous?
When we think of flash floods, damaging the natural gas pipelines is not something we initially think of. However, about 3 million miles of gas pipelines that run throughout our community and along the roadways can get severely damaged and even explode due to flash flooding endangering the environment, our homes, and our lives.
If you or someone you know is injured in an oil pipeline leak accident, contact an oilfield accident lawyer as soon as possible.
How do flash floods make oil pipelines dangerous?
Flash floods can make oil pipelines dangerous in a few different ways. Here are a few possible scenarios:
- Damage to pipeline infrastructure
Floods can cause erosion and damage to the ground around the pipeline, which can weaken the infrastructure supporting the pipeline This can cause a pipeline to leak or break, which can be dangerous for people and the environment.
- Water pressure
During a flash flood, a large amount of water builds up, creating high water pressure. Suppose this pressure exceeds the pipeline’s maximum allowable operating pressure. In that case, the pipeline may rupture or explode, causing oil to spill.
- Debris Transport
Flash floods can pick up and transport debris such as rock, wood, and other heavy objects. If these materials collide with an oil pipeline, they can be damaged or even cause the pipeline to break, causing a spill.
- Difficult access
When a flash flood occurs in a remote area, it becomes difficult for emergency responders to access the area quickly to contain any spills or leaks that may occur. This can allow the oil to spread further and cause more damage to the environment.
Several factors can contribute to the severity of flash flooding:
- Heavy rainfall
The most common cause of flash flooding is heavy rainfall. When a large amount of rain falls quickly, the ground can not absorb it all, and the excess water can quickly accumulate and cause flooding.
The shape of the land can also play a role in flash flooding. Areas with steep slopes or narrow valleys can channel water quickly and intensify flooding.
- Soil type
The soil type in an area can affect how much water it can absorb. Soils that are compacted or have a high clay content may not be able to absorb water quickly, leading to more runoff and flooding.
Overall, flash floods can create dangerous conditions for oil pipelines by causing damage to the infrastructure, increasing water pressure, transporting debris, and making it difficult for emergency responders to access affected areas.