Cleanup continues from train derailment near Dixie Highway - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Cleanup continues from train derailment near Dixie Highway

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The clean up continues from Monday's train derailment and commuters are holding out hope that Dixie Highway will open soon.

Fire officials say, however, that they believe Dixie Highway will be closed the rest of the day Tuesday, and likely into Wednesday.  There's no firm timetable on when it could open up.  Emergency officials will meet Wednesday morning to look into when they might be able to reopen the road.

That's been frustrating not only for drivers who usually use Dixie Highway and have to take detours of 45 minutes to an hour, but for people who were evacuated Monday. 

Thirteen train cars derailed early Monday.  One began leaking a hazardous chemical used to make rubber and plastic.  All of that car's load eventually leaked out.  Officials say they noticed a leak in another tanker, carrying the chemical Styrene.

Now that the leaks are contained, workers are trying to get the cars back on the tracks.  That means, though, that the other cars on the train have to have their chemicals pumped out as a precaution.

"Our primary interest is life safety," said Emergency Management Director Doug Hamilton.  "And as long as hydrogen fluoride is on scene in an unstable vehicle, it is just not safe, so we know at least 12 hours in advance that this road is not going to be open, and probably longer."

Many residents in West Point were told about the accident by an emergency alert system that sent them a text, email, or phone call.

Many of them say that system worked properly, but now they cannot get any information about when they may be able to return to their homes.  "The after-information system sucks," says resident Mary White, "because I'm not getting any information on that....Right now they're not letting us in on Abbott's Beach, and I tried calling three different numbers and have no idea on when I'll be able to get in."

Crews have been on the scene since 4 a.m. Tuesday working on the cleanup.  The CSX railroad line, which is different from the one where the wreck happened, is back open, and barge traffic is being allowed through on the Ohio River again.

The shelter in place order has been lifted, since the leak has been contained.

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