“The alarms are going of erroneously all over the Port,” said the woman answering the phone at the Port of Providence‘s offices. “We are making special service calls to people to let them know there’s nothing to worry about.” Of course, the Port was just calling businesses businesses located in the Port.
Monica Huertas, who lives in the area, did not get a call. “This is so scary. Especially when you know the crazy shit that is being stored in these tanks.” Huertas is in charge of the NoLNGinPVD campaign. She is very knowledgeable about the dangerous chemicals stored in the Port, some of which have evacuation radii of 14 miles in the event of a disaster.
“The point is that people get used to the sirens and then when they really start going off and in a real emergency they’re not going to work because people are already used to hearing them,” said Huertas.
She recorded this video around 10am on Friday:
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In order to be alerted as to false alarms or actual problems, Providence residents have to sign up for CodeRed, which can be downloaded as an app or can notify you by phone or text. The Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), says that they sent a message on the CodeRED system alerting people in the city that it was a false alarm.
The area around the Port of Providence is one of the poorest, most racially diverse areas in New England. There are dozens of languages spoken in the area, so communication can be very difficult. The storage of dangerous chemicals in the area and the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure by National Grid mark it as a textbook example of environmental racism.
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