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Helping our neighbours in Mexico

Flooding from two major storms impacted about 1.2 million people in Mexico and contributed to more than 100 deaths. (Photo credit: La Cruz Roja Mexicana)

Flooding from two major storms impacted about 1.2 million people in Mexico and contributed to more than 100 deaths. (Photo credit: La Cruz Roja Mexicana)

TransCanada is stepping up to help victims of Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel in Mexico, while simultaneously dealing with flood-related damage that has temporarily shut down a section of our Guadalajara Pipeline.

More than 100 deaths have been attributed to the storms, which packed a double punch across the country earlier this month. Twenty-four out of 32 states in Mexico reported damage from the storms, causing severe devastation in 371 municipalities nationwide. The Mexican National Red Cross put the number of victims at 1.2 million.

TransCanada employees and contractors did not report any major personal or property losses, but many others were not so fortunate.

In addition to a $25,000 donation to the Mexican Red Cross, TransCanada is also donating approximately $28,000 to provide 800 food baskets for people who live near the Mazatlan Project in the Palmitas, El Potrero de Los Sanchez and El Quelite communities that were significantly affected by the hurricane.

Making a difference in our communities

“Many of the communities near our pipelines suffered devastating losses,” says Lorena Patterson, director of stakeholder relations for TransCanada in Mexico. “Making a difference in the neighborhoods where we live and work is an important TransCanada value. These donations are a first step in our efforts to help the victims of this terrible tragedy. We know there is a lot more work to be done and we are committed to helping our communities now and in the future as we work to overcome the devastation caused by these recent storms.”

Floods from the storms appear to have damaged a section of the Guadalajara Pipeline that serves an LNG facility on Mexico’s west coast. Residents who live near the pipeline’s crossing at the Naranjos River reported hearing a loud noise to authorities, who contacted Energia Occidente de Mexico S.de R.L. de C.V., the TransCanada affiliate in Mexico that operates the pipeline.

Construction activities to replace the impacted pipe have begun, following approvals from the appropriate regulatory agencies in Mexico. This follows a detailed aerial and ground assessment of the site by teams from the U.S and Mexico and development of a plan to remediate the site, make repairs and return the pipeline to service as soon as possible.

Systems worked as they should

Once the pipeline system detected a drop in pressure on the pipeline, the pipeline valves automatically closed as the system is designed to do. The section of the 30-inch diameter pipeline was isolated and vented and Energia is conducting a full review of the entire Guadalajara Pipeline system.

Emergency response procedures were activated to ensure the protection of the public and the environment. Local emergency responders were in contact with the community.

“Service to our customers on that section of the pipeline continues to be temporarily suspended,” said Richard Torres Jr., Project Manager, U.S. & Mexico Pipeline Maintenance Projects. “We are aware of the significance of this pipeline to provide energy to the region and are committed to returning the pipeline to service as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Help is needed for flood victims

The Guadalajara Pipeline is in the State of Colima, which had approximately 1,600 people evacuated into shelters as water flooded their houses.

Near our Tamazunchale and Tamaz Extension pipeline assets in Veracruz, the number of flood victims in Veracruz reached 33,615 people. The damage to communities near the Mazatlan Pipeline project, where TransCanada is helping to pay for food baskets, also extends beyond infrastructure to ruined crops.

Closer to Mexico City, where TransCanada’s Mexico operations are based, mudslides created safety and transportation hazards. Mud-choked tunnels closed the toll expressway into the city, as well as other roads out of the coast. Flooding also shut down runways at airports, causing widespread flight delays.

Reaching out

TransCanada’s donation will go to the Mexican Red Cross National Relief Fund. For more information about Red Cross donations and how you can help, visit the direct link to Cruz Roja Mexicana, Sede Nacional.

Lisa Singhania is a member of TransCanada’s Internal Communications team.

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