Barker reservoir levels rise; mandatory evacuations ordered

The Arkema chemical plant in Crosby suffered a pair of explosions or chemical reactions earlier this morning. Black smoke was seen coming from the plant after 2am. Company officials are not calling this a chemical release. They are calling it a fire, and say if you have been exposed to the smoke you should call your doctor.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office says 15 of their deputies wound up being taken to the hospital and all of them have been released.

Elsewhere, the Harris County Flood Control District says that the levels at Addicks and Barker Reservoirs have started to rend in the right direction.

In Fort Bend County the levels at the Barker Reservoir forced Fort Bend County to change voluntary evacuations to mandatory evacuations for some communities. When officials give us the revised evacuation map we will be posting it here.

Other notes:

- Beaumont has lost its water supply. Flood waters dumped into the Neches River by Harvey has knocked out the system’s main pump.

- The city of Dickinson has lifted their mandatory evacuation orders, but warn you that some services may be limited and/or delayed

- Vice President Mike Pence and other cabinet officials including former Texas Governor and current Energy Secretary Rick Perry will visit Corpus Christi later today.

- Limited local bus routes will resume today. There will also be limited Metrorail service.

- Both Bush and Hobby airports are open

- The death toll from Harvey is at 31 and is expected to rise.

- Nearly 35,000 people are in shelters.

- The Astros return to Minute Maid Park for a day-night doubleheader against the New York Mets on Saturday. The team will donate 5,000 tickets for each game to first responders.

- J.J. Watt of the Texans has now raised more than $9M for relief efforts and his new goal is $10M

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