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SETX on alert in industrial area - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

SETX on alert in industrial area

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With Southeast Texas being an industrial area, the West explosion hits home for a lot of locals.

In Port Neches, several schools neighbor plants. One simple mishap could cause a crisis next door.

"When the call goes out from refineries, it goes to the fire chief then immediately to those schools that can be most effected by it and it's very quick," says Dr. Rodney Cavness, PNGISD Superintendent.

Dr. Cavness says the district partners with the refineries in case of a crisis and students are always drilled.

"We talk about and practice our plans. There's always the possibility of having to evacuate buildings and we can get those buses manned and get those kids out of there when we need to," he says.

"We're as prepared as we can be for something like this," says Greg Fountain, Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Fountain attended a seminar Wednesday on the impact of explosive devices. He says a small explosion can be felt hundreds of yards away.

"It gives you a sense of how enormous the event in West was," he says.

Fountain says you can never be too prepared for widespread disaster.

"You'll never have enough ambulances. You'll never have everything you need. But, you have that piece of mind knowing that everybody that can respond is going to be coming from as far away as they need to," says Fountain.

As for those living their daily lives just yards from refineries, they're depending on first responders.

"We're not going to live in fear. We're going to keep rolling on with what we do and if something goes wrong, we can act immediately and put plans into place. Then, experts come in and do what they need to do," says Dr. Cavness.

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