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One month after the TPC explosion, roads nearby in Port Neches reopen

Highway 366 (Magnolia Avenue) between Spur 136 and Park Avenue in front of the TPC plant reopened one lane in each direction, with speed reduced to 30 mph.

PORT NECHES, Texas — Roads in Port Neches are starting to reopen near the TPC plant one month after the explosion. Officials said residents can expect to see flares while the plant is under repair. 

Highway 366 (Magnolia Avenue) between Spur 136 and Park Avenue in front of TPC Group's Port Neches Operations reopened for one lane in each direction at 6 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. 

TxDOT reduced the speed limit on FM 366 to 30 mph. 

"The restart of equipment, specifically flaring activity at the docks, may be heard or seen off-site," the Unified Command response team said in a news release. "Flaring is a normal part of a shutdown or start up process and helps ensure that facilities are environmentally sound. The use of the flare will ensure materials can be safely transferred out of the facility once the de-inventory process begins."

TPC Group is working to transfer all remaining materials from the site, after mechanical integrity inspections of tanks and other equipment, the company said. Some equipment at the plant will be restarted to help the response and cleanup efforts. 

Credit: TPC Group and Unified Command
Officials released a map of the new traffic flow around TPC's Port Neches operations.

TPC's new alarm system is being tested every Wednesday at noon. The testing began Dec. 25 and will be used until the plant's permanent alarm system is operating again, officials said. 

Anyone who lives in the neighborhood near TPC Group's Port Neches plant may hear the alerts, the Unified Command team said. 

TCEQ, the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management and the TPC group said in the release they are still working together as a Unified Command to bring the incident to an end while minimizing environmental impact. 

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