Estimated 230000 gallons of oil spilled

Train Derailment

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says some 15 to 30 tanker cars derailed between 4:15 and 4:45 this (Fri.) morning south of Doon, and that they are leaking an unknown volume of crude oil into the flooded Rock River.

Some officials have speculated that floodwaters eroded soil beneath the train track.

32 tanker cars derailed early Friday morning, just south of Doon in northwest Iowa.

Ken Hessenius with the Iowa Natural Resources Department says his crews will try to determine how fast the oil is being carried downstream by the rain-swollen Little Rock River.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds toured flood-stricken areas of the state Saturday noting in social media posts, "I was impressed by the coordinated efforts of county & state emergency management".

According to the Associated Press, BNSF railroad spokesman Andy Williams said no one was injured in the derailment, and hazardous materials and environmental experts were on the scene within hours of the accident. 14 of the cars have been leaking oil since the accident, with officials estimating 871,000 litres of crude have seeped into floodwaters adjacent to the tracks.

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Crews are trying to determine how quickly crude oil leaking from derailed railroad tanker cars in northwest Iowa will reach cities downstream. The train was carrying crude from the oil sands of western Alberta to Stroud, Oklahoma. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons of oil.

"We've had skimmers working since yesterday on the floodwater south of the site".

The oil has now been contained, but removing all the oil from the water could take months.

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. The spill reached the Rock River, which joins the Big Sioux River before merging into the Missouri River at Sioux City.

It's also unclear how many cars derailed and what caused the derailment. It plans to drain and clean its wells and use a rural water system until testing shows its water is safe.

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

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