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Booms caused by gas regulator feeding Dominion according to SC Emergency Management Division

Lake Murray, SC Paul Kirby (12/12/2020) – Friday night before 9:00 p.m., three booms shook the Midlands area causing people to become concerned and dial 911. Law enforcement officers already operating during time began looking for the source as comments from across a widespread area began to be posted to social media. Resources from the Irmo Fire District were also notified and emergency equipment began looking for the epicenter of the event.

One Lexington Ledger follower wrote that just before 11:00 p.m. Friday night, she felt and heard the booms. It was, “Super weird. Yet again in Cayce..... in the last hour I’ve heard 3 BOOMS. The first one shook the house and doors. The last two not quite so loud sounding,” she reported with a link to story about a small earthquake that occurred in November of 2019 near Cayce that cause the similar sound and effect.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division was one of the first official agencies to note Friday’s occurrence. They posted just after 9:00 p.m. that there had been no recorded earthquakes in the area. A short time later they turned to social again saying, “According to their Twitter site the SC Office of Regulatory Staff confirms the loud boom heard/felt in the midlands tonight was a relief valve on a natural gas line near Saluda Dam. ORS says the valve activated to prevent a rupture of the gas line. Safety systems worked as intended."

Dominion Energy’s McMeekin power plant behind the Lake Murray dam was converted from coal burning to natural gas in 2016. According to our sources in the area, this is the general area where the regulator is located.

Dominion began posting themselves soon after. “There was a temporary release of pressure from a natural gas regulating station near Lake Murray tonight. Law enforcement & our crews responded. Scene has been cleared. Incident is not related to any of our facilities. No reports of any incidents on our system in the Midlands,” there Twitter account read. “There is no danger to residents. Crews are working on the line, so you can expect the smell of gas in the area. This natural gas line is not owned by Dominion Energy. The Saluda Dam at Lake Murray is fine.”


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