07:31 GMT +322 October 2019
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    A man walks through floods waters and onto the main road after surveying his property which was hit by Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas, U.S. August 26, 2017.

    Texas Town Residents Told to Take Shelter After Chemical Leak

    © REUTERS / Adrees Latif
    Environment
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    Hurricane Harvey Hits US (63)
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    Residents of Texas towns in the same county as Houston (currently evacuated and submerged by Hurricane Harvey) have been advised to stay inside due to a potentially-hazardous "chemical release."

    The towns of La Porte (with about 34,000 residents) and Shoreacres (about 1,500 residents) have been placed under a chemical release warning. Residents have been advised to stay home and turn off their air conditioning and heating units.

    Reportedly, the leak came from the Valero petroleum refinery plant on the outskirts of Houston. It occurred near Highways 225 and 146.

    Residents have been reporting "headaches, sore throat, scratchy throat and itchy eyes," according to Mother Jones.

    La Porte is approximately 26 miles away from Houston, while nearby Shoreacres is 32 miles away.

    this was posted 30 mins ago for the residents of #LaPorte #Texas #hurricaneharvey

    A post shared by Shannon Varnado (@dpgshan) on Aug 28, 2017 at 3:45pm PDT

    According to a 2012 report from the Environmental Integrity Project, the sudden shutdown of oil and natural gas plants "can release large plumes of sulfur dioxide or toxic chemicals in just a few hours, exposing downwind communities to peak levels of pollution that are much more likely to trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory systems."

    The area struck by Hurricane Harvey encapsulates refineries responsible “for roughly 25 percent of the United States’s petroleum refining, more than 44 percent of its ethylene production, 40 percent of its specialty chemical feed stock and more than half of its jet fuel,” according to the New York Times.

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    Hurricane Harvey Hits US (63)

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    chemical exposure, gas leak, Hurricane Harvey, Texas, Houston
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