Alon USA Energy Inc.’s refinery near Krotz Springs, Louisiana, has been granted an extension of an order to evacuate by 5 p.m. local time.
Company staff will be able to remain at the refinery under the extension provided by St. Landry Parish President Don Menard, Alon spokesman Blake Lewis said in a telephone interview. Lewis couldn’t say how long the exemption will last. The refinery is operating normally, he said.
The 83,000-barrel-a-day refinery is within a zone that was ordered evacuated by Menard today. Employees at the refinery are assisting with the construction of a temporary levee to protect the facility and other homes.
“The evacuation order is intended for low-lying residents,” Lewis said. “We are focused on protecting our assets.”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said May 11 the 83,000-barrel-a-day Krotz Springs refinery would be shut if the Morganza spillway was opened to relieve flood pressure on the Mississippi River.
The spillway was opened yesterday, slowly flooding the Atchafalaya River basin today with torrents of murky Mississippi River water, a move designed to spare inundating Baton Rouge and New Orleans.