October 29, 2007 – City Smoke, Country Smoke

This afternoon a big fire and plume of smoke resulted from a solvent/chemical warehouse blowing up in Des Moines.

Here’s a picture from a local TV station showing the fire at mid-afternoon.  It’s still burning at 8:30 pm, but they have reopened I-35, I-80, and I-235 after shutting them down for a good portion of the afternoon. As I-80 is the busiest cross-country interstate in the nation, it made a huge mess to detour the interstate via city streets.  The wind is SW, which means the smoke is blowing in our general direction. What made me scared is that this warehouse is adjacent to a natural gas storage facility – you can see some of the tanks in the left-hand side of the photo.  Had the wind been different, I wonder if the gas tanks could hold back the barrage of 55 gallon flaming barrels shooting out of the plant?

Here, out in the country, this is the view to our east as you can see the wisps of smoke from the fire, at this point, about 45 miles away from the fire.  Officials claim the air is safe to breathe.

one year ago…