More than 7.1 million customers were without power across Florida and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina as a result of Hurricane Irma. As the storm moved through the region, companies were able to address more than 1.25 million outages, due largely to recent investments in energy grid technology and automation.
Florida’s construction cranes weathered Hurricane Irma better than expected, although three massive cranes did collapse in the southern part of the state after being battered by 120 mph winds and heavy rain. There were no injuries reported from the crane incidents.
There are long lines at Florida gas stations and empty shelves in the state’s grocery stores, as residents both stock up on supplies and prepare to flee before Hurricane Irma makes its expected landfall sometime Sunday. Irma could then strike a blow at parts of Georgia and the Carolinas.
Now that kids are back in school, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is reminding teachers, staff, and school administrators about the hazards of using flammable materials, such as methanol, during classroom science demonstrations.
The storm is over, the flood waters are receding and the difficult task of recovery is getting underway in Texas and Louisiana – activities which will bring a new set of hazards to the people who are trying to pick up the pieces and go on.
Explosions and fumes emanating from a flood-crippled chemical plant in southeast Texas sent a deputy sheriff to the hospital and caused local officials to brace for a fire and more blasts at the facility. News sources report that the flooding caused by Harvey knocked out power to the plant, disabling its refrigeration system and allowing the volatile chemicals it stored to heat up and explode.
Harvey may have been downgraded from hurricane status to tropical storm, but it continues to produce extraordinary amounts of rain, bringing misery to residents of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. Forecasters say the area can expect heavy rain to persist throughout the Labor Day weekend.