Those on the scene of a train derailment caused by floodwaters south of Doon along the Sioux and Lyon County lines are worried about the impact downstream.
Lyon County Sheriff, Stuart Vander Stoep says leaking material from the train could negatively effect Rock Valley downstream. “When the cars derrailed they went into the water and they are now leaking oil. We don’t know how much oils is leaking, but we can smell it, so we d0 know there is some,” the sheriff says. “We do to try and catch some of the oil.” He is not sure how successful they have been in capturing the oil.
The Little Rock River flows into the Rock River which is at flood stage in the city of Rock Valley. Vander Stoep says the DNR is on site and has staff arriving downstream to monitor the flow of the crude oil plume. In addition to their current attempts to contain the crude oil, Vander Stoep says the railroad is sending a crew in for clean up.
DNR Environmental Program Supervisor and Spencer Field Office Superintendent Kenneth Hessenius says they are monitoring the situation. “The biggest concern that we have are the shallow wells in the towns downstream that are pulling their water source from near the river. I believe Rock Valley has shut off their well fields while this incident is taking place. And we’re looking further downstream with additional water supplies along that watershed,” according to Hessenius.
He says the number of rail cars leaking may not be known for a long time as many of them are partially submerged in the flooded Little Rock River. He says he will know more as time goes by and more information becomes available.
(By Mark Buss, KSOU, Sioux Center)