Plenary Keynote | AIChE

Plenary Keynote

On August 24, 2017, Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, made landfall in southeast Texas producing an unprecedented amount of rainfall. Hurricane Harvey killed 68 people and flooded over 300,000 structures, forcing roughly 40,000 people to evacuate their homes. Hurricane Harvey required a large emergency response effort supported by local, state, and Federal officials.

At Arkema’s Crosby site, Harvey delivered an unprecedented amount of rainfall. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates show that the rainfall during Harvey had less than a one-in-one-thousand-year likelihood of occurring. Harris County has estimated that at Crosby, Harvey was a 5,000 year to 20,000 year event. The plant’s hurricane preparedness procedure was followed and resulted in a safe shutdown and hurricane preparedness of the manufacturing units. However, finished goods inventory remaining in the warehouses was overwhelmed by high water and overcame multiple layers of protection used to safely store organic peroxide finished goods.

This presentation will explain the sites preparedness ahead of time, the events leading up to the flooding, the incident itself, and the emergency response.

The presentation will focus on the impacts, the main lessons learned and the key recommendations from the CSB report.