On February 22, 2019, TiPS office building was evacuated due to a natural gas leak located a city block from our offices. While Atmos has not commented much on the gas leak, Atmos did find multiple gas leaks in the same area. According to Atmos workers, these leaks have been ongoing for several weeks prior to the initial leak discovery. The evacuation order impacted 73 residential homes and 67 businesses.
Atmos did replace several thousand feet of poly pipe in the area. In addition, Atmos drilled many holes in the area to allow the trapped gas to escape from the soil and to allow the vapor extraction units to help expedite the process. Although there was little gas detection inside the TiPS building, the gas level was much higher surrounding the building foundation. Due to the amount of gas in the soil, TiPS building was evacuated for 6 weeks.
During the evacuation, TiPS set up a temporary office at Bob Rainey Farms. While this seems unusual, BRF converted an old farmhouse to a modern co-working facility with all the modern conveniences including high-speed internet and building security. For 4 weeks TiPS employees were “cozy” working in open space environments as noted in the picture. We had to remove servers from racks and place them on temporary wired storage shelves during the relocation. Not to mention all the temporary network cabling that needed to be installed.
TiPS executed Level 3 (out of 5) of its Disaster Recovery plan. We were fortunate that our business servers and workstations were not damaged when Atmos ordered the local electric power company to cut power without notice. Many of TiPS disaster recovery procedures were untested (i.e., relocated to a temporary location) and generated many “lessons learned” from our experience.
We cannot thank our customers and partners enough for the support and patience during the business interruption. Over the years we have come to know them more as friends as they provided advice as much as possible. As mentioned several times by our pipeline customers, TiPS and our community are fortunate that no one was hurt over this incident.
It is a bit ironic that an alarm management company that helps pipeline companies to be safer is negatively impacted by the same industry we try to help. Maybe Atmos could benefit from LogMate®.