Harvey's Latest Victim: Largest Oil Refinery in US

Port Arthur, Texas, is 'underwater'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2017 9:42 AM CDT
Harvey's Latest Victim: Largest Oil Refinery in US
Evacuees sit in the bleachers at the flooded Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur, Texas, on Wednesday.   (Beulah Johnson via AP)

The oil and gas industry has received its hardest blow yet as a result of Harvey: After days of operating at reduced capacity, Motiva's Port Arthur oil refinery—the largest refinery in the country—was shut down early Wednesday due to "increasing local flood conditions" near the Louisiana-Texas border. Production will only resume when floodwaters recede, CNNMoney reports. Port Arthur has been among the hardest hit areas of Texas, having received over 40 inches of rain as of Tuesday, reports KFDM. In a Facebook post overnight, Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman said the "whole city is underwater."

A local sheriff says flooding has prevented important resources from reaching Port Arthur to help those stranded. "We're getting 911 and rescue calls but there's nothing we can do," she says, adding there's "no way to get to them." "We need boats. We need whatever it takes," adds a Jefferson County commissioner. At least 11 other oil refineries have already been shut down, including the country's second-largest refinery in Baytown, Texas, which suffered roof damage as a result of the storm. Other refineries are operating at reduced capacity, which is expected to hurt supply and drivers' wallets across the country. (More Hurricane Harvey stories.)

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