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Preparing for the Next Storm

Preparing for the Next Storm

Full Title: Preparing for the Next Storm, Learning from the Man-Made Environmental Disasters that Followed Hurricane Harvey
Author(s): Environmental Integrity Project
Publisher(s): Environmental Integrity Project
Publication Date: August 1, 2018
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast as a category 4 storm on August 25, 2017, dropping over 40 inches of rain across the region—and well over 50 inches in some places. The highest total rainfall in the nation’s history—60.58 inches—was recorded near Port Arthur, Texas, about 90 miles east of Houston.

In a region built on petrochemicals and a massive floodplain, industrial facilities were hit hard, and caught off guard. When refineries and other chemical facilities are forced to shut down and restart due to inclement weather, such as was the case with Hurricane Harvey, they release additional harmful pollutants—a result of abnormal operations, equipment malfunctions and failures, and maintenance problems. If they wait too long to cease
operations, weather-related impacts, such as power outages, can exacerbate the situation, emitting more pollution and impacting public health. Trouble breathing, rashes, and fatigue are just a few of the symptoms Houston residents living near industrial areas describe when asked about the ways in which Harvey upended their lives.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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