‘It looked like fog coming in’: McKinney residents concerned after waking up to find neighborhood coated in dust
When neighbors woke up Friday morning, they woke up to their cars, roads, grass and everything else coated in dust.
By: Jobin Panicker

July 19, 2019

Click HERE to view the news report and article on WFAA

MCKINNEY, Texas — Neighbors in McKinney woke up to quite a surprise Friday morning.

Neighborhoods along Highway 5 near TX-Spur 399 are dealing with dust all over their property. The dust originated from a nearby concrete-batch plant named Martin Marietta.

“These were all powder,” Caryn Beelen said as she pointed to her cushions that she spent Friday cleaning.

The neighborhood was coated in dust. It was on cars, roads and even settled into the grass they walked on.

“All of my furniture was totally full of cement, everything,” Beelen said.

Caryn Beelen spent the day cleaning out her dust-filled backyard. It all started Thursday night when neighbors started to notice a disturbance in the air.

“It looked like a fog coming in,” said Al Cantara, a resident in the neighborhood.

The city of McKinney confirmed to WFAA that someone mistook that fog for smoke and fire and called 911.”They recognized that there was not a fire, there was just a plume of smoke,” said Michael Quint, the executive director of development services for the city of McKinney.

Neighbors are confident the particulate matter all over their property is cement dust. The city said it cannot confirm what the dust is made up of. TCEQ told WFAA that is a possibility and that a representative could be coming out to take samples of the dust.

“It makes me upset because we could be breathing this,” Beelen said.

The concrete plant sent WFAA the following statement:

“Martin Marietta was distressed to learn this morning of an apparent release of particulate matter at its McKinney ready mix plant. Operations at that site are regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which has visited the site. We will work with the TCEQ to investigate what happened. Additionally, Martin Marietta has retained a company to clean up the material that was released, and the plant will remain shut down until we can determine the cause of this release and remediate it.”

The City and TCEQ confirmed to WFAA that they are investigating. The city claims there is “no immediate health risk.”

“We will be exploring all enforcement options available to the city,” Quint said.

“Would you live with this? The city of McKinney needs to do something about this and do something about it today,” Cantara said.

The City is asking that people send pictures and information pertaining to the dust to the following email address: mquint@mckinneytexas.org