Nearby residents have been evacuated, and some have filed suit against the company.
Here's what the facility looked like when NOAA flew over on August 31:
|NOAA aerial survey photography showing flooded Stolthaven chemical facility near Braithwaite, LA on August 31.|
|Slicks and sheen apparently migrating downstream from the Stolthaven facility (lower right) toward flooded homes (upper left).|
The flooding derailed tanker cars, damaged storage tanks, and caused other problems on the site. On a Gulf Monitoring Consortium overflight on September 10, photographer Jeffrey Dubinsky captured a series of low-altitude pics illustrating some of this damage, like this storage tank apparently pushed off its supporting foundation:
|Air photo of Stolthaven chemical facility taken during Gulf Monitoring Consortium overflight on September 10, 2012, courtesy of Jeffrey Dubinsky. See more of Jeffrey's pics from this flight here.|
Jonathan Henderson from Gulf Restoration Network was also on the flight, and caught some great pics too, including this closeup of the dislodged tank:
|Another view of the dislodged tank, courtesy of Jonathan Henderson of the Gulf Restoration Network (see more of his pics from the September 10 overflight).|
Isaac was certainly a big storm, but clocked in as a relatively mild Category 1 hurricane. You would think that by now, major industrial facilities planted in the middle of Hurricane Alley would be better able to withstand such predictable storm exposure. But I guess you'd be wrong....