Monday updates: Fire & claims representative visits continue – recovery center to open

Published 11:36 am Monday, December 2, 2019

A tower that reportedly fell Monday morning at the TPC Group Port Neches Operations plant was actually a different piece of equipment, a TPC spokesperson said.

Unified Command confirmed all towers have been accounted for, according to a Facebook post from the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management at 10:16 a.m. Monday.

“The noise heard in nearby areas resulted from the settling of impacted equipment as a result of the ongoing event,” OEM posted. “No additional towers have fallen at this time. This was an anticipated result of the fire. Emergency personnel managed the action accordingly. No injuries have been reported and there are no off-site impacts.”

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TPC spokesperson Payton Keith said emergency personnel have been accounted for as well.

“The event is still contained,” he said.

The Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management posted on Facebook before 9:30 a.m. Monday, citing Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick, “Another tower just fell at the TPC plant — there is no cause for concern. The radius for all towers and their path to fall has been calculated and there is no threat to the public. All towers are expected to fall or be taken down. *NO threat to the public*”

An impacted distillation tower at the plant fell inside the fence line at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Two explosions occurred at the plant Nov. 27, setting off fires that have been contained, among a long chain of events.

The cause of the explosions still has not been determined.

Claims representatives

Claims representatives began visiting area residents Sunday and resumed Monday to assess any impacts from the explosions. The representatives began door-to-door visits to all homes within the area of highest impact closest to the event.

Five zones have been established within the high impact area to ensure an efficient claims adjustment process, according to a news release from TPC. That area was being inspected Monday and is expected to continue through the week.

TPC also said claims representatives will wear identification badges and identify themselves as representatives of “Global Risk Solutions.”

The reps are also inspecting moderate and low impact areas noted on the map as inquiries are received through the Community Assistance Hotline and home inspections are scheduled.

The Community Assistance Hotline number is 866-601-5880.

Keith said statistics of any estimated damages as a result of the explosions are not available.

Red Cross response

The American Red Cross announced Monday it is opening a recovery center for people impacted by the explosions at the First Baptist Church of Nederland gymnasium, 1911 Nederland Ave.

Parking is available across the street.

Caseworkers will be available to help people create personal recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate assistance from the Red Cross and other agencies. These trained caseworkers will meet one-on-one with residents to help them with specific disaster-caused emergency needs.

Trained Red Cross spiritual care and mental health workers are providing services including emotional support as well.

The recovery center will be open from 1-7 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Since Nov. 27, Red Cross workers provided more than 180 overnight shelter stays, served more than 1,100 meals and snacks and distributed more than 80 comfort kits with hygiene items like toothbrushes and soap.


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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