PORT NECHES, Texas — TPC Group launched an emotional support and stress management hotline on Tuesday and encouraged residents to file evacuation cost claims using an online form.
The fire has been extinguished, one week after explosions at the facility rocked the city of Port Neches. Officials say an all clear has not yet been issued as they continue taking response measures.
Families living around the facility are still picking up debris after two major explosions rocked the city of Port Neches on Wednesday, November 27.
The emotional support hotline can be reached by calling (409)-727-6400, ext. 250 and will be available daily between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The hotline is free to call.
TPC Group hired the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas to help individuals who are suffering from emotional trauma following TPC blasts.
"We're here just if they want to talk and are experiencing some trauma from the it," explained lead counselor Barbara Courville.
Courville says they're available to help people cope with a variety of issues: "...mostly that it will happen again and the uncertainty of what was let out; what damage to their health might have happened as a result of the pollutants in the air; the children being afraid that it is going to happen again."
TPC Group is also paying for six one-on-one sessions with a licensed counselor who works for the Samaritan Counseling Center. It's for anyone who is suffering emotionally from the explosions.
The emotional support hotline will be available for two weeks.
The TPC Community Assistance Helpline has received more than 4,000 calls since the explosions.
Claims are divided into two different categories, property damage claims and evacuation claims.
Residents that evacuated can fill out an evacuation claim form online.
Those who want to file a claim by phone can do so by calling 866-601-5880.
Representatives began going door-to-door Monday to all homes in the highest impact area. They're working from 8 a.m. to one hour before sundown every day.
Residents that live outside the highest impact area need to submit claims to be sure they are contacted.
The Red Cross opened a recovery center on Tuesday to help connect residents with resources after the explosions.
From a Unified Command news release:
Unified Command remains focused on mitigating the event and maintaining the safety of responders and the community. We are thankful for the continued support of emergency responders and our community.
Situational update: The fire at TPC Group Port Neches Operations has been extinguished. However, an all clear has not yet been issued. Response measures are ongoing.
Emotional support/stress management services available: As a reminder, TPC Group is providing an emotional support hotline staffed by licensed professional counselors from Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas that went live today (Tuesday). The hotline will be available daily between 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The hotline number dedicated to this event is (409) 727-6400, ext. 250. Calls received after hours will be directed to Spindletop Crisis Hotline at (800) 937-8097, an affiliated local hotline. Additional in-person follow-up sessions with counselors also will be available, as needed. Counseling calls and session discussions will be kept confidential.
Air Quality update: Unified Command remains diligent in its efforts to monitor air quality around the facility and in the community. Federal, state, and local agencies have been conducting stationary and roaming air monitoring since the event occurred, and will continue to do so through the course of the event. Monitoring results continue to indicate no human health concerns in the community.
Claims activities update: Claims representatives continued visiting area residents today (Tuesday), focusing on homes in the high impact area. Claims representatives are going door-to-door, visiting homes within the area of highest impact closest to the event. Claims representatives are in the field from 8:00 a.m. to one hour before sundown each day. Residents who live outside the area of highest impact and have submitted insurance claims through the Community Assistance Helpline (866) 601-5880 will be contacted and visited by appointment.
Claims are divided into two general categories: (1) evacuation related and (2) property damage. If you were in the evacuation zone immediately following the event at TPC Group Port Neches Operations and would like to get a head start on the Evacuation Claim Form, please click on this link and complete the form online. This form is for those who were in the designated evacuation zone and have not already completed an Evacuation Claim form with a claims representative (i.e. you have made a telephone inquiry and have been assigned a claim number). Today, the helpline system experienced a high volume of calls and is being adjusted to handle the volume. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding.
Debris assessments and removal update: Residents who have contacted the Community Assistance Helpline with concerns about debris on their property, will continue to be visited by environmental response specialists with CTEH. CTEH is also conducting debris assessments and leading removal efforts. Specialists are assessing homes and yards within approximately one-half mile of the TPC Port Neches Operations fence-line. CTEH will continue to respond to requests received via the Community Assistance Helpline as well as assessments of homes and yards within approximately one-half mile of the TPC Group Port Neches Operations fence line. As a reminder, if you see debris in your yard, please call the Community Assistance Helpline at (866) 601-5880 to file a claim.
Water monitoring update: Water quality around TPC Group Port Neches Operations is being closely monitored, and has been since the event. Water quality remains normal. Water monitoring by environmental experts from TCEQ, EPA and CTEH has confirmed no visible impact to the Neches River resulting from the event. Barriers have been put in place in the vicinity of the event to assure waterways are not impacted. Texas Parks and Wildlife has reported a moderate impact of unknown cause to fish in the Wastewater Canal.
To file a claim for evacuation costs or property damage, or to report debris on your property, please call the Community Assistance Helpline at (866) 601-5880.
Updates and information continue to be posted on the web at www.portnechesresponse.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/portneches.response.1 and on Twitter at PortNechesUC.