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'We all were afraid': Rockdale residents upset after no alerts from city officials before Alcoa implosion

Posted at 5:05 PM, Mar 04, 2024

ROCKDALE, Texas — Rockdale residents are expressing concerns after hearing loud noises from an implosion at the former Alcoa plant Saturday.

  • Residents like Rosa Braun say the force of the implosion caused her house to shake, scaring her and her animals.
  • She didn't receive any notification from city or county officials before the implosion, despite city council members receiving and accepting an invitation from developers to watch.
  • But city officials say they're not responsible for the implosion since the property is not within city limits.


"I was drinking my coffee and when it hit, i went like this. I broke my cup, which I have plenty of cups. But broke my cup, and my coffee went all over."

Rosa Braun remembers the fear she felt after hearing a loud noise in Rockdale on Saturday.

Later finding out the cause Monday — and she's upset city officials didn't tell her.

"I feel that they have no respect for us no more when they do that. We all were afraid — every one of us," she said.

An implosion — the first step in developing the old Alcoa property into an energy plant.

City Manager Barbara Holly says Sandow Lake Ranch developers invited members of city council to watch.

But she says the city isn't responsible for informing residents.

"That's SLR's call. It's their land. It's not in the city. It's not in our ETJ. It really doesn't have anything to do with us," Holly said.

We reached out to developers about the implosion, but they did not provide a statement as of Monday afternoon.

But Braun says someone should be held accountable.

She tells me that the force of the shook her house — breaking knick-knacks and picture frames.

"It broke this picture, so it was replaced. All these were turned like this," she said.

"I would have pushed everything back, secured everything if they were to alert me, but they didn't," Braun said.