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Infrastructure Takes a Hit from Deadly Harvey

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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Refineries and offshore platforms in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico shut down, some sustaining damage, as Hurricane Harvey made landfall over the weekend, weakening to a tropical storm but continuing to dump flooding rains that will take a toll on the region’s infrastructure.

The storm, which has caused widespread flooding throughout eastern Texas after dumping as much as two feet of rain in 24 hours in some parts of Houston, has led to thousands of rescues and left more than 5,000 in emergency shelters as of Monday afternoon (Aug. 29). At least two people have been reported dead as a result of the hurricane.

According to Fortune, the storm shut down 10 percent of the United States’ refineries and about 25 percent of the Gulf’s oil production. According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which oversees offshore drilling in the U.S., 105 platforms and 5 rigs had been evacuated as of Sunday evening, and one dynamically positioned rig was moved out of the storm’s path.

Ports, Roads Damaged

Operators of the Port of Corpus Christi, which operates 13 public oil docks in addition to 16 privately run oil docks, told the San Antonio Express-News that the Port sustained “light to moderate damage” and would be working with the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a channel survey early in the week.

Port Houston, the state’s largest port, closed as the storm bared down and remained closed as of Monday. The largest container port on the Gulf, Port Houston is a major site for the import and export of resins and plastics, chemicals and minerals, and steel and metals.

Roads sustained damage throughout the affected region, and the damage won’t be fully clear for days, as flooding continues to inundate many areas. In Rosenberg, Texas, southwest of Houston, police reported that a roadway had collapsed into a culvert, rendering FM 762 impassable near Interstate 69.

Port Arthur Floodwall Concerns

In Port Arthur, which had received more than 18 inches of rain over four days as of Monday afternoon, the damaged Taylor Bayou floodwall was reinforced with more than 2,000 feet of gabion bastions and super sandbags prior to the storm’s arrival.

Port Arthur Floodwall
Drainage District 7

Earlier this month, officials discovered a failure in the concrete levee at Taylor Bayou in Port Arthur.

Earlier this month, officials discovered a failure in the concrete levee, which was built in the 1970s. According to an update released Aug. 10, a 30-foot erosion hole had formed at the base of the wall on the water side, resulting in a 200 to 250-foot stretch of the wall becoming unstable. Another 500 to 600-foot stretch has taken on extra stress as a result.

The failed levee section poses the risk of flooding to an industrial area, largely populated by petrochemical companies, as well as some residential areas, according to Texas' Drainage District 7.


Tagged categories: Health & Safety; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Offshore; Oil and Gas; Roads/Highways

Comment from WAN MOHAMAD NOR WAN ABDUL RAHMAN, (8/29/2017, 1:36 AM)

Condolences to the affected families.

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