Science

Major oil spill spreads across Iowa floodwaters, forcing evacuations after train derails

Major oil spill spreads across Iowa floodwaters, forcing evacuations after train derails”

About 100,000 gallons has been contained with booms in a low-lying area filled with floodwaters near the derailment.

Williams said officials hoped to reach the cars Saturday.

In this aerial drone image taken from video and provided by the Sioux County Sheriff's Office, tanker cars carrying crude oil are shown derailed about a mile south of Doon, Iowa, Friday, June 22, 2018.

According to the Associated Press, BNSF railroad spokesman Andy Williams said no one was injured in the derailment, and hazardous materials and environmental experts were on the scene within hours of the accident. Floodwater along the Little Rock River is running over a road north of the track. "The long-term cleanup will take a while, a matter of months, probably, and we will be working hand in hand with the EPA and other agencies".

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was in northwest Iowa on Saturday to view and assess flood damage in Rock Valley and Hartley and the derailment and oil spill south of Doon. Williams added that almost half the spill had been contained with booms near the derailment site, with additional booms downstream, amid concerns that the oil may contaminate the water supply as far away as Omaha, Nebraska, some 240 km to the south.

Williams said he was unsure how much oil leaked and how numerous cars were leaking.

Metropolitan Utilities District, which provides the Omaha metro area's drinking water, said it was monitoring the spill. The amount spilled also isn't yet known.

The community of Rock Valley, Iowa has been especially hard hit, confronted by floodwaters, the train derailment and an unrelated fire in the course of 24 hours.

The train was carrying tar sands oil from Alberta to Stroud, Okla., for ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons (20,817 imperial gallons) of oil.

Beaudo also did not know whether the derailed oil cars were the safer, newer tankers meant to help prevent leaks in the event of an accident. "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".



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