Share

Ohio Railcart Leak Update: Evacuated Families Return Home

November 29, 2013

WILLARD, Ohio — Most of the estimated 425 families evacuated after a train derailment and chemical spill were allowed to return home Thursday.

About three dozen homes closest to the scene of Tuesday night's derailment remained off-limits and residents could be out of their homes until late Friday, the city said.

Gov. John Kasich was briefed in Willard by officials and visited with evacuated families having a Thanksgiving dinner provided by the railroad at the high school.

Kasich said the evacuation and cleanup had been handled well and could serve as a model for emergency crews.

"The people of Willard have handled this very well, the first responders, the fire chief, the city manager and the company," Kasich said before flying to Columbus for Thanksgiving dinner with his family.

"They are definitely on top of the situation. They are really professionals," Kasich said in a phone interview.

An area of more than 425 homes was evacuated after the train derailment damaged a railcar that leaked styrene monomer, a flammable liquid that is used to make various plastic and rubber products.

No injuries were reported.

The city administration said air quality testing done by CSX Corp. and confirmed by state and federal environmental officials showed "only minor traces of the styrene in the air, well below danger level."

The four derailed cars were put back on the tracks early Thursday, said CSX spokesman Gary Sease, adding that clearing the area would help with the cleanup.

Crews worked to vacuum liquid and remove the affected soil in the area of the spill in Willard, about 65 miles southwest of Cleveland.

The cars derailed at the rail yard while switching trains, and officials believe that's when one car was damaged, according to Sease. The rail yard is a key link for CSX freight trains running between Chicago and the East Coast.

An investigation into the cause is ongoing, Sease said.

The damaged car leaked about half of its 26,000 gallons of styrene monomer, he said. The liquid dripped from a 4-inch hole for several hours before it was resealed.

Representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio EPA were monitoring the cleanup.

MORE: Oil Pipe Explodes in China

This picture taken on November 22, 2013 shows a general view of the damage after an oil pipeline exploded, ripping roads apart, turning cars over and sending thick black smoke billowing over the city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong province. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)


Featured Blogs

June 2014: Earth's 3rd Consecutive Warmest Month on Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters
July 24, 2014

June 2014 was Earth's warmest June since records began in 1880, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated June 2014 a bit cooler: the 3rd warmest. According to NOAA, the planet has now had three back-to-back warmest months on record--April, May and June of 2014. Global ocean temperatures during June 2014 had the greatest departure from average of any month in recorded history.

Warmest Days of the Year for the U.S.

By Christopher C. Burt
July 9, 2014

NOAA recently produced an interesting map showing when the hottest day of the year is likely to occur in the contiguous U.S. Complimenting this map is one produced by Brian Brettschneider of Borealis Scientific, LLC, which illustrates the date of summer’s midpoint (peak of summer average temperatures) which was reproduced in my blog posted last August. Brian has also produced maps of such for the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. There is also some other great material from Brian herein.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.