Update – March 21, 2019

on March 21, 2019 in Weekly Update

Good afternoon San Jacinto College community,

 As you all are aware, the last few days have presented a very fluid situation as a result of the tank farm fire at the Intercontinental Terminal Company in Deer Park. The health and safety of our College community and surrounding neighbors is of utmost importance. I understand that many of you have concerns, and I want you to know that we are closely monitoring the situation. Our Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is in constant contact with the OEMs in Deer Park, Pasadena, Harris County, and surrounding communities so that we have the most up-to-date information to share with you.

 Today’s College closure is due to above normal benzene levels that have been detected around the incident site. At the time of this message, the higher than normal levels have resulted in a Shelter-in-Place order for the City of Galena Park. As of noon today, the City of Deer Park lifted its Shelter-in-Place order.

 Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor. Symptoms you may experience include (but are not limited to): coughing, difficulty breathing, burning, irritation and redness to skin, eyes, nose and throat, and headaches, nausea, or dizziness. Additionally, elderly citizens, children, pregnant women, those who have respiratory issues, and those who are immunosuppressed may be especially impacted. Do not forget that your pets may experience symptoms as well. If you are experiencing any of these conditions, please contact your health care provider. An Ask-A-Nurse Hotline has also been established through the Harris County Public Health Department at (713) 634-1110.

 Please continue to monitor the situation via local media and heed the warnings of your local officials. I also encourage you to make sure that you have signed up to receive notifications from the College through SJC AlertMe. We will also continue to post updates on the SanJac.edu homepage and through our official social media channels.

 In addition, the San Jacinto College OEM has established a dedicated webpage specifically for this incident where you can learn more about the situation, get traffic updates, review Shelter-in-Place procedures, and more.

This incident has certainly impacted our community. The College’s leadership team and OEM are committed to making the best decisions for our students and employees as soon as possible based upon the information we have available to us. Please continue to monitor your email and the San Jacinto College website for updates.

Thank you,

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