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

African Wave 95L and Mexico's Tropical Storm Polo Little Threat

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 20, 2014

Satellite loops show that a tropical wave (Invest 95L) off the coast of Africa, a few hundred miles southeast of the Cape Verde Islands, has a moderate degree of spin and heavy thunderstorm activity. The wave is under light wind shear and over warm waters of 28°C (82°F), conditions that favor development, but shear will rise to the moderate range, ocean temperatures will cool, and the air surrounding the storm will grow drier by Sunday, making development unlikely.

Incredible Rainstorm in Southern France

By Christopher C. Burt
September 19, 2014

Torrential rainfall Tuesday through Thursday morning (September 16-18) in the Languedoc Region of southern France has resulted in flooding that has killed at least four people with two others still missing. The rainfall rates during the storm were phenomenal.

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.