Estimated 230,000 gallons of oil spilled

Jun 26, 2018, 02:44
Estimated 230,000 gallons of oil spilled

Drone footage released by authorities in Iowa shows oil spreading across flooded fields following a devastating train derailment. Officials on the scene aren't sure whether floodwater from the swollen Little Rock River caused the cars to leave the tracks.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds toured flood-stricken areas of the state Saturday noting in social media posts, "I was impressed by the coordinated efforts of county & state emergency management".

BNSF spokesman Andy Williams confirmed the details Saturday.

The train's operator BNSF said 14 of the derailed cars had leaked oil, the Lyon County Daily News reported.

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Officials say 230,000 gallons (870,619 liters) spilled.

Tank cars carrying crude oil are shown derailed about a mile south of Doon, Iowa, Friday, June 22, 2018. Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep (VAN'-dur stoop) in neighboring Lyon County says the train derailed between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Friday just south of Doon. "We had a large supply in our water towers and we are using our interconnection with rock valley rural water to recharge our water supply".

She issued a disaster proclamation Saturday for Lyon and three other counties in response to rain-fueled flooding and the train derailment, the paper reported.

Railroad crews have also built a 1/8 mile gravel road out to the cars to clean up the mess.

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One or more of 31 tanker cars on the derailed train is leaking into floodwaters surrounding the tracks near Doon, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Ken Hessenius with the Iowa Natural Resources Department says his crews will try to determine how fast the oil is being carried downstream by the rain-swollen Little Rock River. The city of Rock Valley, Iowa, has already shut down its water wells and plans to drain and clean them until testing indicates the water is safe to drink.

Four homes near the site have been evacuated.

Metropolitan Utilities District said it was monitoring pumps it uses to pull drinking water from the Missouri. The spill reached the Rock River, which joins the Big Sioux River before merging into the Missouri River at Sioux City.

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The National Weather Service says the Rock River is expected to crest later Friday about a foot below the 2014 record of almost 23 feet (7 meters), when several Rock Valley homes were damaged by the floodwater.

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