Husky Energy Evacuated Due to Infrastructure Concerns
Stinson Avenue blocked in front of refinery; officials say there's no risk of fire, explosion, or chemical release
SUPERIOR, Wis. – Tonight, an investigation is underway at the Husky Energy Refinery in Superior after a swaying stack caused an evacuation.
The stack could be seen swaying back and forth. Wind gusts at the nearby Bong Airport were reported at twenty-five miles per hour.
The Superior Police Department tells us refinery crews heard a “pop” and noticed a problem with the stack’s structural integrity.
Electricity and gas to the refinery have been turned off.
We’re told there is no risk of fire, explosion, or release of any chemical. Nobody was injured in the incident.
Even though officials assure us there is no danger to the public, people are on high alert after a major explosion and fire struck the refinery in April 2018, leading to more than a dozen injuries.
Husky is still rebuilding from that incident with a goal of resuming partial operations at the refinery in 2021.
200 people are employed at the Superior refinery permanently. The facility has a $27 million payroll.
Husky officials are now developing a plan for how to move forward with the safety concern the swaying stack brings.
Stinson Avenue is still closed because it’s in the stack’s “fall zone.” There’s no word yet on then the street will reopen.
Here is the full statement released February 20th by the Superior Police Department:
“Earlier today, while crews were working on a tower located on the Southside of the Husky refinery they reported hearing a “pop” and subsequently noted a defect in the Tower’s structural integrity. Refinery personnel was evacuated as a precautionary measure and the gas and electric power to the refinery were turned off. Assessment of the issue is ongoing and plans are being made to remedy the situation as quickly and as safely as possible. At this time there is no risk of fire, explosion, and release of any chemical or other danger to the public. To be clear, even in a scenario where the tower collapses there is nothing around the tower which could be struck which would cause a danger to the community. Because the public roadway — Stinson Avenue – is within the “fall zone” it has been preemptively blocked by the Police Department and will remained closed until it is safe to reopen. Please plan accordingly for your morning commute as it is unclear how long the roadway may be closed.”