The Latest: Officials monitoring controlled burn at Arkema
HOUSTON (AP) — A man living near a Houston-area chemical plant where a controlled burn is taking place told the Houston Chronicle he heard two booms and saw thick black smoke Sunday after authorities started a controlled burn.
The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office said in a statement Sunday afternoon that the decision was made to take “proactive measures” to ignite the remaining trailers at the Arkema plant in Crosby through controlled means. The office said that the measures don’t pose any additional risk to the community. The 1.5-mile evacuation zone around the Crosby plant is still in place.
The man living nearby, John Rull, told the Chronicle that the explosions were louder than one he heard on Friday when two containers burned and that there was much more smoke. Rull lives two miles from the plant.
Six of the trailers had remained after three others ignited in recent days, sending thick black smoke and tall flames into the air.
Meanwhile, worshippers and relief workers paused from their chores across South Texas to seek God’s favor as the area rebuilds.
Hurricane Harvey hit the region with high winds on Aug. 25 and then dumped more than four feet of rain in the Houston area days later. While the Gulf Coast suffers in miserable conditions from Corpus Christi, Texas, northward into Louisiana, the theme in many sermons Sunday was that God is greater.
The St. Joseph Catholic Church in Port Aransas hasn’t had power since the storm but set out holy water and bug spray for parishioners before services Sunday morning. Many anointed themselves with both.
A less-formal group met and prayed outside a relief station on the beach town’s main road.