Evacuation lifted at train derailment site - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Evacuation lifted at train derailment site; Dixie Highway closed, officials announce alternatives

A look at the derailment site last week. A look at the derailment site last week.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The fire is out from Wednesday's explosion at the site of the train derailment in West Point.

Sunday evening, officials say all the derailed train cars were stabilized. Evacuations and shelter-in-place orders were lifted and residents were allowed to return back to their homes. A 1.2 mile evacuation zone and a shelter-in-place restriction for anyone within five miles of the site was issued Wednesday.

The two rail tank cars containing hydrogen fluoride were moved and stabilized.

"It's a very good situation at this point and time," said Diane Bagby with the Emergency Management office.

While the worst may be over, there's still a lot of work to be done.

"There are still chemicals on site, but they are safe. They have been stabilized, which means they are packed and are ready for the next step in the process which is transloading," Bagby said.

That's when the chemicals are moved. It still isn't clear how much leaked out and may have contaminated the area, so the EPA will continue testing.

"The monitoring that began early last week and the sampling that was initiated will continue until all the answers are known about what has been released at the site," Art Smith with the EPA said.

57 train cars were in the P&L train car run Monday morning, when 13 cars derailed. Of the 13, eight contained hazardous chemicals.

Dixie Highway remains closed for a bit longer as crews prepare to remove the train cars.

Monday marks one week since the derailment, and the nearly one-hour commute just to get to the other side of the closure isn't just a headache for drivers.

"The city of Radcliff has been absolutely inundated with heavy traffic," said Bryce Shummate with the city of Radcliff.

"It was backed up for over 3 and a half miles and we've had several accidents," said Radcliff Mayor J. J. Duvall.

That includes at least two four-car pileups.

Officials are asking you to travel alternate routes to avoid U. S. 31 or Dixie Highway in Radcliff.

"Between 3 and 6 pm we're going to have officers at each of the major intersections stopping the cross traffic and trying to flag them on thru," said Radcliff Police Chief Jeffrey Cross.

Radcliff officials suggested these two alternate routes to avoid U. S. 31 or Dixie Highway:

  • Logsdon Pkwy. right on Rogersville Rd. left on Deckard School Rd. left on Hwy. 220, then right on south bound U.S. 31-W.
  • Logsdon Pkwy. Right on Lincoln Trail Blvd. right on Hwy. 313 left on Hwy. 1600 through Flaherty to Elizabethtown.

Officials say it's too soon to tell when Dixie Highway could reopen.

P&L Railway told Radcliff officials they would pay for any overtime incurred by the police department.

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