A chemical manufacturing company based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania issued a warning that there is a risk of an explosion at its plant in Texas due to flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey.
Arkema Inc., whose U.S. headquarters and primary research and development center are located on 900 1st Avenue in King of Prussia, shut down its chemical plant in Crosby, Texas on Friday ahead of Harvey’s landfall.
By Monday afternoon, approximately 40 inches of rain fell at the Crosby facility, located about 25 miles northeast of Houston, leading to heavy flooding, power outages and the water inundation of its backup generators.
A small crew of eleven people had remained on site at the Crosby facility but were evacuated Tuesday afternoon. Homes nearby were also evacuated.
Arkema’s Crosby plant manufactures organic peroxides. Arkema officials say the facility lost refrigeration to all of its cold-storage warehouses after power went out and the backup generators were flooded. Workers at the facility then transferred products from the warehouses into diesel-powered refrigerated containers. The refrigeration of some of those containers were compromised however due to the flooding leading to the risk of a possible fire or explosion.
“Arkema is limited in what it can do to address the site conditions until the storm abates,” a spokesperson for the company wrote. “We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely. At this time, while we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.”