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Houston-Area Residents Allowed to Go Home Near Chemical Plant

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HOUSTON (AP) — Neighbors of a Houston-area chemical plant are being allowed to return home, ending an evacuation order after Harvey drenched highly combustible compounds that later exploded and caught fire.

Authorities said Monday it is now safe for residents of Crosby, Texas, to re-enter the 1.5-mile (2.4 kilometer) evacuation zone around the Arkema plant. They were forced to leave Tuesday.

Fire officials conducted a controlled burn at the plant Sunday to neutralize the remaining trailers filled with organic peroxides, which are used in plastics and paints. Three trailers had already caught fire after floodwaters consumed backup generators powering refrigeration necessary to keep the chemicals from degrading and catching fire.

Arkema says it has opened a center at Crosby High School on Monday to help residents find temporary housing and provide information on filing claims. The center is open until 5 p.m.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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