Crystal Beach

Lightning strikes blamed for refinery, tank fires along the Texas Gulf Coast

Storms along the Texas Gulf Coast Thursday (Aug. 20)  produced lightning blamed for a refinery fire in Texas City and an oil storage tank fire in Crystal Beach.

Video submitted to IFW by G.W. Burlin shows emergency responders arriving shortly after at the storage tank ignited on Monkhouse Drive in Crystal Beach. Flames and billowing smoke rose over the Bolivar Peninsula.

Lightning also struck an electrical transformer at a 130,000 barrels per day oil refinery in Texas City, igniting the insulating oil inside. Firefighters chose to let the blaze burn itself out. The refinery is located on the Texas City Ship Channel 40 miles southeast of Houston

Meanwhile, nearly 14,000 customers in the Houston area were left without electricity due to damage from the passing storms. The bad weather is expected to linger in the region through Friday.

To see video of the Crystal Beach fire, CLICK HERE.

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