Cleanup of oil from derailment in Iowa begins

Train Derailment

Crews were scrambling Saturday to clean up a BNSF oil train derailment in northwest Iowa that dumped crude oil into floodwaters, while officials seek to get a handle on the extent of the spill and its cause.

More than 30 tanker cars have derailed in northwestern Iowa and at least some are leaking crude oil into a nearby river. The nearby Little Rock River rose rapidly after heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday.

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

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

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, Frida, June 22, 2018.

"We have representatives from the EPA, state, local, regional, regulators are on site overseeing what we're doing and working with them to make sure that we clean up in the appropriate way as it relates to federal law and state law", said BSNF spokesperson Andy Williams.

Olson says the city, with a population of almost 3,400, will use the rural water supply until testing by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirms the safety of the city's drinking water. The train derailed early Friday near Doon, north of Sioux City.

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The train was carrying tar sands oil from Canada to Oklahoma for ConocoPhillips.

The spill threatened to contaminate drinking water for residents about 150 miles (240 km) downstream in Omaha, Nebraska. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25 000 gal. of oil.

Despite the rising water outside, the oil spill turned Rock Valley's focus to the safety of the water inside, ultimately deciding to turn off all locally sourced water.

Metropolitan Utilities District said it was monitoring pumps it uses to pull drinking water from the Missouri.

Danger from the spill has been exacerbated by recent rainfall, which has caused the Rock River to overflow its banks along the route of the train tracks.

The city, with a population of almost 3,400, will stay on the rural water system until testing by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirms the safety of the city's drinking water, Olson said.

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