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Late-night Space-X testing concerns McGregor residents

Space X, Falcon 9
Posted at 7:57 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-12 10:57:06-05

MCGREGOR, Texas — Mcgregor residents are once again dealing with loud noise, rumbling floors, and shaking walls.

"We had some very specific conversations with Space-X and they knew the problem had hit a proportion where it was really not what anybody had bargained for in the McGregor area," Mayor Jim Hering told 25 News.

For a short time, they were able to limit the noise by testing their rockets vertically instead of horizontally, giving the sound a chance to be absorbed by the ground.

"Sound goes into the ground, into a flame and sound averter," Mayor Hering said. "It's made of concrete and steel and covered in water, and it really does kill the sound."

While that worked for a little while, a malfunction led them to return to their original style of testing. For McGregor residents, that means the sound is back.

"It's pretty loud," resident Camryn Thane said. "You kind of just stop what you're doing and I guess wait for it to finish. It's hard to hear other people or if you're watching something, it's hard to understand or focus on what you're doing."

Camryn Thane has lived in McGregor her whole life and dealt with the Space-X tests since middle school. She said it seems to be getting louder and more often, a growing concern for many.

"Buildings downtown, there's a lot of plaster falling off the walls," she said. "There's a lot of people moving to the area, a lot of new houses being built so it's great that Space-X brings that revitalization to the town but I'm just wondering if we're prepared, if the historic buildings are prepared."

Mayor Hering said they've communicated with Space-X and the company has promised to address those concerns.

"People want to know it's going to get fixed, that this isn't going to continue indefinitely," he said. "Space-X tells me that it's not and I believe them, so we'll see."

A test happened after 10 p.m. on Thursday night, which is more than an hour after city guidelines allow for them. In a previous interview, city officials told 25 News that every time that happens, Space-X can be charged up to $25,000.