Tue, September 26, 2023

Texas Oil Industry threatened by “Catastrophic Flooding”

Austin, Texas, USA downtown skyline on the Colorado River.

Heart of Texas was flooded after being hit by a tropical storm on Thursday. Some called the situation as worse than Hurricane Harvey.

Texas coast submerged, flooding Houston and Beaumont, home to massive oil refining, petrochemical and export facilities after heavy rainfall. The classification only measures the wind speed after the storm downgraded to just a tropical depression. According to the National Weather Service, the real threat from Imelda was “major catastrophic flooding.”

Moreover, with higher levels in certain areas, “extremely persistent thunderstorms” created the potential for 6 to 12 inches of rain. The NWS said in a notice that total storm rainfall could be more than two feet for some areas before the weather finally begins to improve. Additionally, some parts could see rain reach as high as 25 to 35 inches as the forecast predicted until Friday.

On the contrary, the Texas Department of Transportation said that 41 inches of rain had already hit the area between Heart of Texas and the town of Winnie.

Thousands of people trapped in their homes and cars after the sudden and rapid flooding of the area. The floods have caused widespread and severe property damage and threaten the loss of life, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. He also declared a state of disaster across 13 counties. Heavy rain continued to pummel the region because of the slow-moving nature of the storm.

Heart of Texas vs. Hurricane Harvey

The 2017 catastrophe from Hurricane Harvey which submerged the Heart of Texas with 50 inches of rain echoed after the intense flooding. It left widespread destruction in its wake, including a string of oil refineries and petrochemical complexes that dot the Texas and Louisiana coast.

Furthermore, Hurricane Harvey was considered the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in decades. The hurricane dumped a year’s worth of rain on the Houston area in just a few days. After nearly 4 million barrels per day of refining capacity knocked offline, several facilities taking weeks to recover. As crude oil became trapped, left unprocessed and with nowhere to go, WTI prices plunged.

The heavy industry has been affected after disruptions form Tropical Depression Imelda. Therefore, it won’t rival those of Hurricane Harvey.


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