In Texas, Hurricane Harvey and the resulting flooding in the Galveston area is causing people to wonder about the safety of the Galveston National Laboratory on the campus of the University of Texas Medical Branch. The lab has hundreds of microbes, viruses and other samples that could be dangerous if allowed to escape the facility. No word has come from Galveston yet on how the building is holding up in the extreme flooding, but their website says it can withstand a category 5 hurricane, up to 140 mph winds, and severe flooding with all lab facilities located at least 30 feet above ground.
The lab has several Bio-safety Level 4 labs which are the highest level of precaution labs due to the contents being very dangerous with air transmission and fatal diseases should they not be in controlled areas. The biggest concern now is not just the flooding but the power outages and how long their generators can hold up before needing to be re-fueled, and how they would get re-fueled with all the flooding in the area.