I wish I knew who to give credit to for this power point, but it came to me via email from a friend. If there is someone out there in cyberland who knows the source of this presentation, please let me know. These pictures shows the power and intensity of the fire and the destruction of the explosion. There is much progress being made in the repair and rebuilding of the refinery, but there is oh, so much still to do. Once again, God’s presence was evident to all of us in Big Spring, Texas that day.
Just over three weeks has passed since the February 18 explosion. Amazing progress is being made in the clean up of all the charred remains of the fire. I drive by the refinery every day as I go into Big Spring and every day there is less evidence of the disaster than the day before.
Everyone has gone back to their daily routines. Some have repairs to their homes and businesses that have been completed or are in the progress of being completed. The person who was most seriously injured in the blast is now home with his family to finish recovering.
Yes. It appears that Big Spring has returned to normalcy. However, I think Big Spring has forever been changed. Our world was rocked that day and what was once normal for us will never again return.
Though my husband and I did not exerience the explosion because we were both out of town, those who did still share vivid memories of the feel of the rumbling under the ground before and after the explosion, and the sound explosion which made them think “a plane must have crashed—in my house”. Our world was physically rocked and we will never be the same.
Almost two weeks after the explosion, I left town to go on a short road trip to Abilene. I had been busy all day with various tasks and had not given much thought to the refinery. As I drove east on I-20, I began to feel something. It is very hard to put my feelings that day into words. It was a type of heaviness, worry, longing to go back home just to be sure that everything is all right. I knew in my head that everything was fine at home and in Big Spring. However, my heart was still reeling from the emotions that came from the explosion. I know that others, especially refinery workers, first responders, and their families are dealing with similar and probably much more intense emotions.
When the refinery is reconstructed to the point that production can be resumed, I am sure the people of Big Spring, will be collectively holding their breath, concerned that another explosion could happen. I believe we will always have a small seed of worry about the safety of the refinery even though we know that all safety precautions are being taken at the plant. Don’t misunderstand me, as a community we are very supportive of Alon, and the people who work there are our friends, neighbors, and family. But on February 18, 2008, our emotional world was rocked and we will never be the same.
There were many things that went right that day. Things that only God could have done. There were no lives lost at all. Not during the initial blast nor during the time the firefighters put their lives on the line to extinguish the fire. There was no wind that day, even though high wind had been in the weather forcast. The explosion happened on President’s Day, when there was little or no office staff in a building that received heavy damage. The traffic on the interstate was also light that morning, due to the holiday, resultling in only one injury. God’s protective grace was evident to everyone that day. Our world was spiritually rocked and we will never be the same.
Yes. On February 18, 2008, Big Spring, Texas, received a miracle from God, and we will never be the same.
It happened on President’s Day, between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m., almost 2 weeks ago. Children had just arrived at school and were finishing breakfast. Many people were still at home because it was President’s Day, and for the same reason, traffic on the interstate highway was light.
Then it happened. The absolutely huge explosion. We still talk about it. My husband and I were out of town when it happened so we did not actually experience the sound of the blast or the earthquake like feel of the explosion. However, for those who did, there are still feelings of trama, fear, and shock that are evident when they share their experience almost two weeks later.
A friend of mine showed me pictures of damage to her house and talked about standing in her front yard watching the billowing black mushroom cloud, weeping as she thought of all the people she knows who work there knowing they must certainly be dead. Her eyes still well with tears as she remembers the day.
There is an elementary school just across the interstate from the school. Immediately after the explosion parents came in droves to get their children. There was panic and terror in their eyes and voices as they said things like, “We’ve got to get out of here. This place is going to blow!”
But Big Spring did not ‘blow’. In fact, aside from the horrendous blast which was heard and felt 45 miles away in all directions, damage to many homes and businesses, and a handful of injuries one of which is serious, many things went right. The safety measures put in place at the refinery worked. The ‘cat cracker’ was shut down just in time, I understand, which saved many lives and prevented much more damage. Because it happened on a holiday, there was a short staff working that day. Many of the offices were empty which was a blessing because they received considerable damage. There was only one injury to a passerby because the otherwise busy interstate was being lightly traveled.
I do not want to minimize the injuries, because for them, it was serious. There is still one person who is in the hospital with burns, and he is struggling to recover.
For our community as a whole, we know that God’s presence that morning was real. His protective hand saved lives and we all know it. Tomorrow evening (Sunday) we will have a city wide thanksgiving service thanking God for Big Spring’s Miracle on I-20.