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© Arkema General | October 16, 2017

Arkema reflects on the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey

In the wake of the recent flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Arkema reflects on what happened at its Crosby site.
The consequences of the torrential rains in the region and the very severe flooding that struck the Crosby site was unprecedented. The site found itself under 5-7 ft (almost 2 meters) of water for several days.

At the site, the company manufactures organic peroxides, a range of very reactive products some of which require cold storage to prevent them from breaking down and catching fire.

"We cooperated completely with all first responders and the numerous regulatory agencies working with us to keep the public safe. Once the flood waters eliminated the primary and backup refrigeration systems from the site, Arkema Inc. took the decision in liaison with the local authorities to let the organic peroxide burn themselves out," the company writes in an update.

Arkema warned the public that fires would occur and of the danger of breathing the smoke from the fires at the site. A 1.5 mile (2.4 km) evacuation zone was imposed by the unified command well prior to any fire.

A command center was set up outside the safety zone to oversee the situation and to secure the site, manned by representatives from the local government authorities and Arkema personnel. Accordingly, these teams were able to regularly monitor, night and day, the situation on the site, the condition of the refrigerated trailers, and the impact on the environment of the smoke released from the combustion, either spontaneous or induced, of the various trailers.

Today the site is largely intact except for the damage linked to the flooding. There were no explosions at the plant. With few limited exceptions, the fires only impacted the organic peroxides themselves and the refrigerated trailers in which they were stored. The site is being inspected, and to date and as it relates to the fires, there are limited effects on the plant’s buildings, storage facilities or production units.

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November 14 2017 8:30 PM V8.8.9-2