Response to W Houston Explosion Continues

UPDATE 2/25/20:

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week that the Houston Disaster Loan Outreach Center will remain open until further notice to meet the needs of businesses and individuals who were affected by the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing Facility explosion that occurred Jan. 24, 2020. The center was originally scheduled to close Thursday, March 5.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/382WHPJ

En Español: http://bit.ly/2TjVIVQ 

UPDATE 2/14/20:

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Texas businesses and residents affected by the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing Facility explosion that occurred Jan. 24, 2020. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 11, 2020.

Learn more at www.HoustonRecovers.org

The Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) is assisting with the explosion recovery. MAM is ready to respond by providing rehousing assistance, case management services and mental health counseling to families. 

Watson Grinding & Manufacturing’s site is located approximately 3 miles from Memorial Assistance Ministries’ main office on Blalock. MAM’s facility was not affected by the explosion.

If you have been affected by the explosion, please complete this form (https://www.mamhouston.org/disasterrelief) or email disasterhelp@mamhouston.org

UPDATE: 1/30/20

On Thursday, Jan. 30, Small Business Administration (SBA) representatives will again visit the area impacted by the Jan. 24, Watson Grinding & Manufacturing explosion.

If you live in the affected area, you may encounter SBA representatives as they go door-to-door to assess property damage. Representatives will have credentials.

Residents can also contact the SBA directly by calling the customer service line (1-800-659-2955) or submit their information directly via this survey: http://bit.ly/313DsU4

En Español: http://bit.ly/2uKzxzw

View more information about the SBA: https://www.sba.gov

Por información en Español, visita https://www.sba.gov/?lang=es

Resident Assistance:

In collaboration with the City of Houston, the American Red Cross, and Memorial Assistance Ministries, the Brenda and John Duncan YMCA is collecting monetary contributions and gift cards that will be distributed to families and individuals that have sustained damage to or been displaced from their homes or residences.

Monetary donations can be made at the center or online at https://donate.ymcahouston.org/duncan-ymca-spring-branch-explosion-recovery

The City of Houston Department of Housing and Community Development currently has a Home Repair Program for eligible low to moderate income homeowners: http://bit.ly/2S1Mjlk.

The Red Cross Recovery Service Center at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4703 East Shadowdale Drive, Houston, Texas 77041 remains open for the following hours of operation:

  • Thursday, January 30, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Friday, January 31, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

UPDATE: 1/29/20

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 29, representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA) will visit the area impacted by the Jan. 24, Watson Grinding & Manufacturing explosion. If you live in the affected area, you may encounter SBA representatives as they go door-to-door to assess property damage. Representatives will have credentials.

UPDATE: 1/27/20

The investigation into Friday’s West Houston Explosion is ongoing. The Houston Police Department, Houston Fire Department, and the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, in coordination with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Houston Division; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ); and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); have launched a joint investigation into the cause of Friday’s explosion.

Department of Neighborhoods initial damage assessments identified 450 damaged single-family residential structures:

  • 57 affected structures
  • 358 structures with minor damage
  • 35 structures with major damage

Learn more about FEMA’s damage assessment criteria here: http://bit.ly/36CpxWw

A Red Cross Recovery Service Center is located at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4703 East Shadowdale Drive, Houston, Texas 77041. Caseworkers will be available to discuss your needs.

Hours of operation are:

  • Sunday, January 26, 2020 2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Monday, January 27, 2020 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020 noon – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 30, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Friday, January 31, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

UPDATE 1/25/20

The American Red Cross has the following recommendations for those cleaning up after Friday’s explosion:

Before cleanup starts, be sure to get photos for your insurance and make safety a priority

? Wear protective clothing
? Look for debris
⚕️ Get immediate medical attention for cuts
? NO KIDS!

For more info visit: http://bit.ly/30QoWz9

Red Cross disaster trained volunteers continue to provide assistance for those impacted by Friday morning’s explosion at Watson Grinding & Manufacturing.

Please be mindful of fraudulent agencies seeking donations for victims of today’s explosion on Gessner. Check out the organization to make sure it is reputable.

Help is available if you were impacted by Friday’s explosion:
TPC Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas 9am-6pm (409) 727-6400, x250, or
Red Cross Disaster Distress (24/7)
?1-800-985-5990 or
?text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

UPDATE 1/24/20 2:45 PM:

An overnight shelter was established at Fairbanks United Methodist Church at 14210 Aston Street for residents displaced by the Watson Grinding & Manufacturing Co. explosion.

Earlier:

At approximately 4:40 a.m. this morning, reports of an explosion on the northwest side of the City were called in to the Houston Fire Department. HFD Hazmat responded to the area near 4500 block of Gessner. There are two confirmed fatalities.

No shelter in place or evacuation notices were issued for the area. Residents have been urged to avoid the area and anticipate travel delays. Residents in adjoining subdivisions were being assisted by on-scene first responders.

The HFD Hazmat Team has monitored the air during their site assessment and did not detect any air quality hazards that are of immediate public concern.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is responding to this morning’s explosion in Houston. Although the Houston Fire Department has stated that there are no air quality concerns, TCEQ personnel are en route to the area to provide any needed support to HFD.

The Spring Branch Independent School District will open schools as planned. The Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District’s Bane Elementary and Dean Middle School will be closed today to all students and staff. All other facilities will be open. 

A media staging area was established at Tanner and Gessner.