‘No way to prevent it’: Chemical plant could explode near Houston

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HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People are rescued from a flooded neighborhood after it was inundated with rain water, remnants of Hurricane Harvey, on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in areas of Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CROSBY, Texas — The CEO of a chemical plant near Houston says there “is no way to prevent” a potential explosion at the Crosby, Texas, facility.

“Right now, we have an unprecedented 6 feet of water at the plant,” Arkema President and CEO Rich Rowe said in a statement on the company’s website. “We have lost primary power and two sources of emergency backup power.”

Because of the power loss, the facility is unable to refrigerate highly volatile materials, which “could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire,” Rowe continued.

“The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it,” he said.

All workers at the plant have been evacuated, and so have residents who live within a 1.5-mile radius.

“We are working very closely with (federal and state authorities) to manage this matter,” Rowe said.

Crosby is about 25 miles from Houston, a city that’s still reeling from historic, devastating floods due to Harvey.

Rains have subsided in Houston, but not all the water has receded, leaving thousands still stranded.

Harvey went back into the Gulf and then made landfall again early this morning as a tropical storm, inundating the towns of Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Orange, Texas.

Harvey, which hit the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night, has claimed the lives of at least 28 people. Officials expect that number to rise as the waters recede and rescue operations continue.

Houston experienced more rainfall over the past few days than the city typically sees in an entire year.

The governor of Texas has said “the worst is not over for Southeast Texas.”