LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Dixie Highway is closed and a half-mile evacuation zone remains in effect while dangerous chemicals are drained into different rail cars at the derailment site.
Six tanker cars need to be transloaded, a process that entails draining 20,000 to 30,000 gallons in each car.
Emergency Management Director Doug Hamilton said specialists intended to offload one butadiene and one hydrogen fluoride car on Tuesday. Crews planned to continue transloading two cars Wednesday and two remaining sodium hydroxide cars Thursday. "It was our intent to do a butadiene car and HF car each day and then deal with the sodium hydroxide cars the following day," Hamilton said.
Because of rain Monday, mud delayed work Tuesday. "Accessing the site was somewhat difficult this morning, but the weather has been fair today so that's a bonus for us," Hamilton said.
Work is expected to be completed by sunset, but crews will not halt transloading midway if the process isn't complete by nightfall.
The evacuation order and Dixie Highway closure will not be lifted until the chemicals are removed from the side. Thirteen air monitors are up as precaution and there isn't any indication chemicals are lingering beyond the site. Dixie Highway remains closed because of equipment and hoses needed to drain chemicals.
Hamilton said 31 homes are within the evacuated area. Damaged rail tank cars will remain on site until the week of Thanksgiving. The Federal Railway Administration said it could take a year to determine the cause of the derailment.
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725 S. Floyd Street
Louisville, KY 40203