Saying Labor Day is the deadline, Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner says his city, America’s fourth-most populated, will be “open for business” despite mandatory evacuations of flooded homes, billions of dollars in damage, and many parts of town still under water due to Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in south east Texas on August 25th, 2017.
“Anyone who was planning on a conference or a convention or a sporting event or a concert coming to this city, you can still come,” the mayor said to CBS. “We can do multiple things at the same time.”
Officials are still worried about explosions at a chemical plant damaged by the hurricane, the country’s most devastating in ten years. To ease the danger of further explosions experts performed a controlled burn last Sunday of extremely volatile compounds at the Arkema facility in Crosby. After Harvey’s flooding knocked out generators three trailers caught fire.
The authorities stated that they are continuing to monitor the air quality within a mile and a half radius of the plant, which is outside Houston. People within the vicinity of the chemical plant have still not returned to their homes.
In addition, floodwaters have overcome at least five toxic waste Superfund locations close to Houston, with the possibility that some may have sustained damage. The Environmental Protection Agency has not yet assessed the full extent of the damage.