Explosion Shuts Down 59, Shelter in Place Issued for Polk County
6 PM UPDATE
The Texas Department of Transportation reports that all lanes of US Hwy 59 are now open.
Firefighters now have water and foam on the fire. Operations are underway to get the fire under control.
A press conference from plant officials indicated that a forklift operator was the only person injured in the incident and he is in stable condition at a hospital in Houston.
The San Jacinto Office of Emergency Management has declared all of Shepherd ISD safe from the chemical plant fire; due to the wind direction, we are not required to Shelter in Place. If this changes, we will update you. We are not releasing for the day at this time. However, if you want to pick up your student, you may do so at the campus front offices.
The explosion occurred at Sound Resource Solutions. They make solvents for glue and paint remover. According to records from the TCEQ, the plant has reported housing wood turpentine, Phosphoric Acid, Xylene, Diesel Fuel, Sulfuric Acid, Isopropyl Alcohol and Acetic Acid.
These chemicals are known to have acute toxicity.
From the City of Lulfkin - Our emergency management team is monitoring the chemical plant fire in Shepherd. We do not anticipate any smoke-related issues in Lufkin as we are 70 miles from the affected area. As of 11 a.m., the shelter-in-place order had been reduced to those within a 1-mile radius of the plant.
10:58 UPDATE -
Goodrich ISD has evacuated on the advice of Polk County Emergency Management Services. You may pick up your child at 1855 FM 3459, Onalaska, TX 77360, at the junior/senior high school stadium. Please bring photo ID. Thank you for your patience during this process.
10:50 UPDATE -
Highway 59 south is now being closed at HWY 190 in Livingston. To go south you will have to go HWY 190 West to Interstate 45. Only local traffic is allowed through to their residence past this point.
10:44 UPDATE -
From the Tyler County Office of Emergency Management - Shelter in Place for Rockland, Chester and Colmesneil. The Plume of Smoke is approaching our county and the communities mentioned may be in the path. Close all windows and turn off the heat and air. Stay inside. Updates will be given as soon as we receive more information.
10:38 UPDATE -
Naskila Casino, east of Livingston, will be closed until further notice.
10:30 UPDATE -
An explosion has occurred at a chemical plant in Shepherd on FM1127. Responders have communicated that a plume is heading towards the Livingston area.
Polk County Emergency Management recommends that residents along US Hwy 59 from Goodrich to Leggett shelter-in-place and turn off HVAC systems in homes and businesses immediately.At this time, the effects of the chemical in the air are unknown.