In each case, those sites are in areas that could see about 10 inches of floodwater during a storm that has a 1% chance of occurring each year. In some cases, sites could see more than 3 feet of inundation.
Those projections raise concerns that a severe storm could be followed by yet another disaster, as toxic pollutants are washed into neighboring communities. While representatives of the chemical industry say their facilities are taking steps to protect against such a calamity, scientists and environmental groups are becoming increasingly concerned that such threats will become more common due to climate change.
See the flood risk posed to sites across Louisiana on this interactive map.
Plants with dangerous chemicals are at risk of flooding during severe storms. This map shows the location of those facilities.
To get detailed information about a specific area, zoom in or search for a ZIP Code. To get information about the risk faced by specific facilities, click on the individual site.
The facilities shown all are at risk of flooding of 9 inches or more. The circles in the zoomed-in map show a 1-mile radius around each facility. An actual chemical release could impact an area greater or less than that area.
The risks posed by those facilities are not shared equally among the state’s population.
The vast majority of at-risk sites are between the coast and Interstate 10, including portions of the New Orleans and Baton Rouge metropolitan areas.
And not all demographics are equally likely to be at risk.
Black residents are more than twice as likely as White residents to live within a mile of an at-risk facility. About 1 in 3 Black residents in the state resides in one of those areas.
And residents who live in wealthy communities are about half as likely as those in poorer neighborhoods to be near an at-risk site.
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Louisiana is threatened by an increasing number of severe storms and is also home to a vast number of industrial sites housing toxic chemicals.