It’s Been 3 Years Since The Superior Husky Refinery Explosion
Three years ago we were sitting in a staff meeting at work when news broke that there was an explosion at the Husky refinery in Superior. There were reports of multiple causalities at the plant, and crews had been able to put the fire out. It wasn't long after that the confusion set in as we were getting reports that the fire had reignited.
The complete timeline of events has been shared, and hindsight is 20/20, but it was a chaotic, crazy day. My daughter was in daycare just a few blocks away from the refinery. My son was in elementary school just a few more blocks away.
We soon got word that areas of town needed to be evacuated. My wife and I got on the phone with each other and came up with a game plan of getting the kids and meeting up somewhere. I got to the elementary school and there was a long line of parents trying to get their kids out of school. It was a surreal feeling as the giant plume of black smoke could be seen from the parking lot.
A few blocks away my wife went up to the daycare and all the kids were huddled in one area with the staff in tears panicked. Originally we were not in the evacuating zone, but soon they extended it. We had to get out of town, so we went over to my sister-in-law's in Duluth. We sat on their deck with a view of the lake and watched the fire burn for hours. Fortunately they were able to get it under control in the evening and we could go back the next day.
It's easy to forget how frightening that day was for many of us in town. Little things that popped up amid the confusion at first come back to me. I remember how people all thought that casualty meant fatality. So people had assumed that 36 people had died, when it was just injuries, thankfully. People were spreading this false post on Facebook that there oil lines ran all through town and it's just a matter of time before all the town blew up. People believed that and shared it, causing more panic.
Like I mentioned previously, in hind sight everything worked out ok. But it's also easy to remember how chaotic and uncertain that day was 3 years ago.