Classes Canceled, Shelter In Place Is In Effect For the City of Deer Park


A shelter in place is in effect for the City of Deer Park and workers at the ITC petrochemical plant.   Francisco Sanchez with the Harris County Office of Emergency Management officials say elevated levels of benzene were detected after the tank fires that burned for days.

"The City of Deer Park has issued a shelter in place for the entire city, and as we get additional information, that may be narrowed down or expanded. Right now we've got active state, local, and federal partners out there doing air monitoring."

Classes have been canceled in the Deer Park, LaPorte, Pasadena and Galena Park ISDs.

Five miles away from ITC another shelter in place was implemented at the Shell Oil Manufacturing Complex, where low levels of benzene were also detected. Company officials say there were no injuries and readings were "at or below OSHA permissible exposure limits."

Here is the official statement from the City of Deer Park:

March 21, 2019 5:14 AM
Active Shelter In Place 03-21-2019 04:49AM
A Shelter-in-Place has been issued for the City of Deer Park following reports of action levels of benzene or other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within city limits. State Highway 225 is also being closed at this time from Beltway 8 to Miller Cut-Off Road.
Per an E-Notify message from Intercontinental Terminals Company, the specific area impacted is south of Tidal Road, east of Beltway 8, west of Underwood Road and north of Pasadena Boulevard.
Residents are advised to remain indoors and to close all doors, windows and other sources of outside air. Turn off air conditioning or heating systems and close the fireplace damper to keep chemical vapors from entering.
Please continue to monitor City outlets for updated information.
Full Shelter-in-Place instructions
Per the City’s website, http://www.deerparktx.gov/1722/Shelter-In-Place, instructions for Shelter-in-Place are as follows:
1. Go Inside Immediately: Seek the nearest enclosed structure, whether it's a house, business, garage or vehicle. If you know of any unattended child in your neighborhood, call them and tell them to remain indoors. Keep any pets inside also. Gather emergency supplies like a portable radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
2. Close all doors, windows and other sources of outside air. Turn off air conditioning or heating systems and close the fireplace damper to keep chemical vapors from entering. Ceiling fans or rotary fans inside the building can be safely used to keep cool.
Cover any gaps, holes or cracks with wet towels or sheets to prevent vapors from entering your home.
If you have trouble breathing, contact 9-1-1.


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