Imelda’s rain brings more US chem plant shutdowns in southeast Texas

Author: Lane Kelley


HOUSTON (ICIS)--Impacts from tropical depression Imelda continued to shut down US chemical plants in Texas, mostly in or near Beaumont, with some of the shutdowns precautionary and a few from power outages.

Of 10 plant shutdowns reported over the past two days, seven are in the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange area that is roughly 85-110 miles (137-177 km) east of Houston. A state filing on Arkema's shutdown (see below) did not say if it was related to weather conditions from the storm.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said Imelda has brought over 40 inches (102 cm) of rainfall to southeast Texas this week, with 43 inches falling in Jefferson County, where Beaumont is the county seat.

The storm has brought some flooding and high water to the Houston area, with a bridge in over the San Jacinto River shut down after two barges broke away from their moorings and hit the bridge early Friday. The Coast Guard had already suspended vessel movement under the bridge because of strong currents and the suspension remains in effect.

Parts of the Houston metro area, where much of the nation’s petrochemical plants are located, remain under a flood watch through Saturday.

The following lists plants that have been shut down from Imelda over the past two days:

Imelda has begun to dissipate, with the weather service saying there is a slight risk of excessive rainfall in the region and predicting 1-3 inches of rainfall today.

The following graphic shows the plants that have reported outages.

Interactive content by Jessie Waldheim

Additional reporting by Amanda Hay, Zachary Moore and Tracy Dang

Image above shows flooding caused by Imelda. Photo by US Coast Guard