Oh, Jimmy. We hardly knew ye. After last night, Jimmy Butler is no longer a 76er. But the Sixers have a new look, adding a five-time all-star. Also, after a wet spring that lasted through June, cities such as Camden are trying to figure out the best ways to handle flooding. And, we went inside the South Philadelphia refinery fire, recounting what happened from multiple perspectives.
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Despite the flurry of moves Sunday, the Sixers — and the rest of the league — are just getting started.
When just an inch of rain can overwhelm your city, you’ve got a problem. But what happens when it’s wetter than it’s ever been? In Camden, for example, the city’s old and narrow pipes can’t stand up to heavy rains. Water pools on major roads and parking lots become lakes while sewage can leak into homes.
Part of the problem is the increase in paved surfaces, where water tends to pool or run off in currents. To combat the flooding issues, some local governments are trying to de-pave and soak up rainwater with parks and gardens.
At 4 a.m. on June 21, the first alarm sounded. There was a leak, a dispatcher broadcasted at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery. And the leak was occurring in a “unit you don’t want to leak,” a refinery operator said. The unit used a highly toxic chemical, one that — in an accident — could have sent a dangerous cloud of hydrogen fluoride drifting over South Philadelphia and other heavily populated neighborhoods.
At that point a control room operator undertook the procedures to shuttle the acid to a separate container. “She’s a f-ing hero,” a refinery worker on the scene said. She may have “saved the city, really."
The Inquirer recounts how that morning’s blasts occurred with what might end up being just a single casualty: the refinery itself.
Stay cool out there, Philly. Thanks for the photo @mr_sceve!
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“At least in the short term, these closures are devastating to individual workers. Losing income, health care, and being forced to dig into savings — if they have them — without any guarantee can lead to depression, anxiety, debt, personal bankruptcy.” — The Inquirer Editorial board writes about some folks who are facing the immediate aftermath of the refinery and Hahnemann University Hospital closings: those who worked there.