10 a.m. Crews are attempting to assess the situation. Hwy 59 is closed both directions in Shepherd. Currently, firefighters are staging, awaiting arrival of foam supplies. The number of injuries is unknown. Fire units from Woodlands, East Montgomery County, Porter, Conroe, Livingston, Coldspring, Punkin Evergreen, Bear Creek, Alabama Coushatta, Shepherd, Goodrich and Cleveland are on the scene staging, with additional fire units enroute including Atascocita Fire Department’s Mass Casualty Bus. The Texas Department of Transportation is advising motorists that Highway 59 in San Jacinto County is closed from FM 1988 to Exit 451B due to this fire and possible hazardous fallout. Prepare for delays or choose alternate routes. Updates will follow.
An update from the Polk County Office of Emergency Management has advised the following:
An explosion has occurred at a chemical plant in Shepherd on FM1127. Responders have communicated that a plume is heading towards the Livingston area.
Polk County Emergency Management recommends that residents along US Hwy 59 from Goodrich to Leggett shelter-in-place and turn off HVAC systems in homes and businesses immediately.
At this time, the effects of the chemicals in the air are unknown.