Articles by Juan A. Lozano

State Takes over Houston’s Hurricane Harvey Home Repair Program

All Houston, Texas, resident Alice Torres has wanted in the three years since Hurricane Harvey hit was to repair her family’s flood-damaged home so her 85-year-old mother can feel safe and settled again. But when her mother, Dolores Torres, died …

Judge Tosses Case Over Texas Chemical Plant Fire During Harvey

A judge has dismissed the criminal case against a chemical manufacturer and one of its former employees over a fire at its plant near Houston during Hurricane Harvey, saying prosecutors failed to present sufficient evidence to support the charges. A …

Close Call with Laura Renewed Debate over Houston Storm Surge Barrier

Houston, a Gulf Coast city that barely rises above sea level, has long worried about a worst-case weather scenario — a direct hit from a powerful storm that sends a wall of water barreling into the region’s petrochemical facilities, possibly …

2 Charges Against Arkema, Manager over Plant Fire During Harvey Dismissed

A judge has dismissed two of the charges a chemical manufacturer and one of its former executives were facing during an ongoing trial over a fire at the company’s suburban Houston plant during Hurricane Harvey that sent toxic smoke into …

Attendance Limits at Some Live Entertainment, Sports Events Easing in Houston

Houston officials on Sept. 9 announced new rules that would allow some live events like concerts and attendance by fans at some sporting events to resume as the positivity rate for the coronavirus in the city continued to drop. Events …

COVID-19 Surge in Texas Sparks Worry Amid Hurricane Hanna Cleanup

As recovery and cleanup efforts got underway on July 27 in South Texas in the wake of a downgraded Hurricane Hanna, worried residents confronted the prospect of undertaking the effort amid a surge in coronavirus cases that has left many …

Houston Confronts One-Two Punch of Coronavirus and Oil Bust

When you’re known as the energy capital of the world, oil busts are nothing new. But Houston now finds itself in uncharted territory — grappling with an oil downturn in the middle of a pandemic. Like in other cities, the …

Trial Over Arkema Chemical Plant Fire During Harvey Set to Begin

Hurricane Harvey’s historic flooding in 2017 overwhelmed power systems at Arkema Inc.’s chemical plant in suburban Houston, eventually causing organic peroxides made at the facility to catch fire and explode, sending noxious black smoke into the air. The blaze forced …

In Houston, a City with No Zoning, Warehouse Blast Prompts Safety Debate

Houston’s lack of zoning restrictions has left many residents with neighbors they don’t want: petrochemical facilities and businesses that handle hazardous materials. That unease was laid bare again last month when a massive explosion leveled a metal fabricating and manufacturing …

Man Injured in Home by Houston Blast Dies; Cause of Death Pending

A 47-year-old man who was injured when an industrial warehouse in Houston exploded last month has died, his family’s attorney said on Feb. 7, but officials declined to immediately add his name to the list of fatalities caused by the …