UPDATE: Chemical Plant’s Smokes Not Toxic, Authorities Confirm; Pence To Meet With Harvey Victims in Corpus

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed that smokes from explosions at the Crosby plan are not a danger for community, via Houston Public Media.

THE LATEST:

The smokes from explosions at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby are not toxic,  Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed on Friday morning at a press conference. He compared the toxicity level of the smokes to those from a campfire’s, based on experts opinions, he said.

Crosby’s authorities stressed that the so-called explosions at the chemical plant, which happened at 2 a.m. on Friday, are not so and they explained that the pop sounds came from containers erupting.

Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced that he would travel to Corpus Christi to assess damages from Harvey and to meet with victims of the hurricane.

 ___

There is  a mandatory evacuation order in effect for several communities near the Barker Reservoir in Fort Bend County. Officials there overnight upgraded the voluntary order to a mandatary one.

The order covers six subdivisions including: All sections of Canyon Gate and Grand Lakes, along with several parts of Cinco Ranch, Kelliwood, Ricefield Village, and Willow Fork.

Authorities are urging people to pack their essentials, including medication and important documents, but wait until daylight to leave

There is a 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for the unincorporated parts of Fort Bend that will be in effect through at least the middle of next week.

People who have extra vehicles that they are not using to evacuate may park them at Cinco Ranch High School. And people who can not evacuate on their own can call for help at 281-342-6185.

Despite the pre-emptive release of floodwaters, the level at Barker continues to rise and flooding is imminent.

___

The Arkema plant in Crosby that lost power after Harvey engulfed the area in extensive floods was rocked by two explosions early Thursday, the plant’s operator said.

Arkema Inc. said in a statement on its website that the Harris County Emergency Operations Center reported two explosions and black smoke coming from the plant at about 2 a.m.

Authorities have not released information on how dangerous the explosions were or whether they sparked a fire at the Arkema plant.

Arkema says flooding overwhelmed its power sources… it lost critical refrigeration of organic peroxides—which are combustible if not stored at low temperature. There’s a possibility for more events like this morning. Local officials had previously established a 1 and a half mile evacuation zone, around the plant.

The plant expects the chemicals to eventually burn out.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said it is not toxic, they don’t feel it is a danger to the community. “It is not anything toxic. It is not anything we feel was a danger to the community at all…. Not an explosion”, Gonzalez said.

He said the 15 deputies who inhaled fumes went to the hospital as a precautionary measure, and at least 8 have already been through evaluations and are clear.

Officials say the evacuation orders are still in place.

___

A Houston mother is warning people in the area to stay out of Harvey’s floodwaters after her son was electrocuted while wading through the water to check on his sister’s home.

Jodell Pasek says her 25-year-old son Andrew was unaware that a landscape light had electrified the water when he stepped into it Tuesday afternoon. She said he fell and grabbed a lamppost and told a friend who was with him to stay away because he was dying.

She says she’s speaking out despite her grief to ensure her son didn’t lose his life in vain.

Pasek lost her older son in a car accident in 1993. She tells KPRC-TV that she’s pulling her strength from that experience.

___

Beaumont, Texas, has lost its water supply because of Harvey.

Officials there say the city has lost service from its main pump station due to rising waters of the Neches River caused by Harvey.

The pump station is along the river and draws water from it as a main source for the city’s water system.

The officials added in their statement early Thursday that the city has also lost its secondary water source at the Loeb wells in Hardin County. They say there’s no water supply for Beaumont’s water system at this time.

They say they must wait until the water levels from Harvey recede before determining the extent of damage.

This entry was posted in KRTS News, KXWT News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.