Monday, 22 July, 2019

BNSF: Estimated 230,000 gallons of oil spilled in Iowa derailment

Major oil spill spreads across Iowa floodwaters forcing evacuations after train derails Sioux County Sheriff’s Office Facebook
Sandy Nunez | 25 June, 2018, 23:04

Rock Valley, with a population of almost 3,400, sits on the Rock River about five miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream from the derailment site. 32 tanker cars derailed early Friday morning, just south of Doon in northwest Iowa.

Crews spent Saturday containing the spill and building a temporary road to move equipment to the crash site to make it easier to remove the piled-up train cars and advance the cleanup, the Sioux City Journal reported.

The railroad will focus on environmental recovery.

The train derailed early Friday just south of Doon in Lyon County, leaking oil into surrounding floodwaters from the swollen Little Rock River. Officials on the scene aren't sure whether floodwater from the swollen Little Rock River caused the cars to leave the tracks. The river rose rapidly Wednesday after 5 to 7 inches (13 to 18 centimetres) of rain fell Wednesday and a further downpour on Thursday.

BNSF Railroad is asking anyone with damage as a result of that derailment to contact them to get everything cleaned up and repaired.

Williams said officials hoped to reach the cars Saturday.

The sheriff said the "flood is definitely causing a lot of problems".

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The train was carrying tar sands oil from Canada to Oklahoma for ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons (20,817 imperial gallons) of oil. He did not know how much had spilled.

"We lease those cars and are in the process of verifying with the owners the exact rail auto specifications", Beaudo said in an email.

(Rock Valley) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) visited the flooded ares of northwest Iowa Saturday afternoon.

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.

The service has issued flood warnings for several other rivers and creeks in the area, including the Big and Little Sioux rivers, the Floyd River and the Ocheyedan River near Spencer.

Omaha's public water utility — Metropolitan Utilities District — is monitoring pumps it uses to pull drinking water from the Missouri River.

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. In the meantime, the city is getting its water from the nearby Rock Valley Rural Water system, which Olson said is not in danger of being contaminated by the spill.