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Safety board to chemical facilities: Hurricane Beryl is an ‘early warning’


Photo: ABI imagery from NOAA's GOES-16 Satellite - AWS S3 Explorer

Washington — The Chemical Safety Board is urging chemical facilities to prepare for a season of “potentially more frequent and more powerful hurricanes and other extreme weather events.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently issued a forecast calling for an 85% chance of “above normal” activity in the Atlantic Ocean during this hurricane season, which lasts through Nov. 30.

Hurricane Beryl, which made landfall on July 8 in Texas, marked the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic, a CSB press release states. The agency is calling on facilities to “act expeditiously” in preparation for more extreme weather events.

“Hurricanes can greatly damage chemical and refining facilities and cause hazardous chemical releases that severely impact workers and surrounding communities,” CSB Chair Steve Owens said in the release. “Hurricane Beryl should serve as an early warning to chemical companies to act now to ensure their facilities can withstand the impact of a hurricane or other extreme weather events including wind, flooding or storm surge.

“This includes having reliable backup generators in case there is a loss of power to a facility.”

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