Friday, March 11, 2016

Paradise, LA

The jobsite started out as a nice flat city lot covered in grass, but not any more. 

Construction progress is slow, or seems to be, as there is nothing coming out of the ground yet. When building a petroleum facility there is a LOT of underground work that has to be done first, one of the bigger underground projects is the tank installation.

First dig a big hole, right? Easy enough in Oklahoma where the soil is clay and rocks. But here in southern LA, Buddy calls it gumbo soil. So the excavators first drive steel pilings into the ground around where the hole will be (so the dirt will not cave in) then dig inside those pilings. The further down they dug, the more the dirt looks like pudding. Hence above-ground cemeteries here. A layer of sand cushions the bottom of the hole.

So the big hole is finally finished, tanks set in place, just in time for the forecast of torrential rains coming in. Between the time the tanks are set and the time there is concrete poured over them later in the job, the tanks must be filled with water so they will not float out of the ground (cemetery reference again).

Permission granted and payment set up from the city of Port Barre to pump 28,000 gallons of water from the hydrant into the tanks. Buddy left the tank guys there working into the night on Wednesday.

The next morning during breakfast we are watching the local news when the news scrolling at the bottom of the screen catches my eye "Port Barre water main break". Coincidence? I don't think so.

Apparently ancient pipes couldn't handle the volume or something, cracked right in two. Now the rain is coming down, there is no water in the hydrant, how to keep the tanks down?

The tank guys were scrambling to come up with a plan. Nearby city of Opalousas has water to sell, so a 6,000 tanker truck was acquired and is making runs from one town to the next to fill the tanks.

just another day here in Paradise, LA

It is all about the water, the water coming down in buckets, the water line breaking, water for sale, water pumped in, water pumped out, water water everywhere. Water in gas tank - a good thing? Yes keeps them from floating out of the ground.

Just remember if you bury something in Louisiana, you must weight it down really good. 

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