UPDATE: As floods grip the Siouxland area an environmental emergency is currently underway in northwest Iowa.
More than 30 train cars full of crude oil continue to leak into the floodwaters of Lyon County.
That train, owned by BNSF, derailed around 4:30 Friday morning just south of the community of Doon.
BNSF issued the statement below:
At approximately 4:30 a.m. this morning a freight train hauling crude oil from Alberta, Canada derailed 33 cars just south of Doon, Iowa. Some of the cars were compromised, but the exact number is uncertain at this time.
BNSF is working with local authorities on our response to the situation. Our hazardous materials and environmental experts are on the scene and have mobilized response equipment throughout the day. We are containing the oil that was spilled as close to the incident as possible using containment booms and recovering it with skimmers and vacuums trucks.
We regret any convenience this incident has caused and are working directly with those impacted. There were no injuries reported. Further updates will be provided when available.
The derailment and oil spill forced the evacuations of several farms in the area. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was the first on scene and issued a mandatory evacuation for residents of Garfield Avenue from 270th and 280th Street.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is on scene as well. They say that DNR staff is notifying cities, towns and other water supplies downstream. The recommend avoiding direct contact with the water.
A floating berm has been placed around the site to help contain the spill. Cleanup crews from Kansas City arrived on scene around 2:30 p.m. and are currently trying to contain the situation.
As massive amounts of crude oil leaks into the Little Rock River, the smell of exhaust fumes is thick in the air.
Crews are on scene attempting to contain the spill with booms, and boats are in the water for clean up.
According to the sheriff, over 50 truckloads of equipment have been brought in to assist as well.
Tim Mantle, the mayor of Doon says if it weren’t for the team work of the town, the situation could have been much worse.
“The community came together, and we got a lot of volunteers and a lot of help from everybody everything is going smoothly so far,” Mantle said.
Oil is being carried downstream west of the derailment, but crews are doing all they can to get that spill contained.
Both the sheriff and mayor say they’re not worried oil spill affecting the town’s drinking water.
Rock Valley, just southwest of Doon and alongside Rock River, has actually shut off their water wells.
They say that the city is currently getting their water supply from Rock Valley Rural Water and that there was no interruption to water service or quality for the residents.
Check the drone video below that the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office recorded.