We learned late Monday afternoon that the cleanup of a train derailment near Haysi, Virginia will take longer than first thought. In fact, it could be early June before work is complete.
The site was inaccessible with the closure of the only road leading anywhere near the derailment, but we did get the opportunity to talk to one of the neighbors to the accident.
The only thing moving on the CSX rail line leading into Kentucky is railroad crews and equipment heading toward a derailment that happened nearly three weeks ago. Access to or even near the site was denied and the road leading to two homes near the site has been closed.
Late Monday afternoon, CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan released a statement confirming that it may be early June until the accident is cleaned up.
Containment and collection of propionic acid is being monitored and five cars containing liquid nitrogen fertilizer are to be transferred.
The road closure only effects two homes but it's the only way in and out for two families. "It's a biggie to me and a biggie for my neighbor of course, but they've been good about letting us by. There's nobody else down that road but me, my neighbor and our guests," says Jason Barton, who lives next door to the derailment.
The derailment still was a little too close for comfort for those nearby considering the leaking acid first reported. "It had bothered me originally but I've inquired about it several times. I've been told each time that all pH levels are at acceptable level and at this point it's pretty much back to normal," Barton said.
Except for the rail cars scattered all around his property. "Four of the tanker cars are actually on my property there. I've noticed no visible leaks of any kind since it happened and I was there the day it happened," he says.
Whether and how long things along the Russell Fork will return to normal is up to the cautious work of CSX and hazardous materials experts.