IA: Estimated 230,000 Gallons Of Oil Spilled

(Getty Images)

DOON, Iowa (AP) — A railroad official says 14 of 32 derailed oil tanker cars in the northwest corner of Iowa dumped an estimated 230,000 gallons of crude oil into floodwaters, with some making its way to nearby rivers.

BNSF Railway spokesman Andy Williams confirmed the details Saturday (June 23).  He says nearly half the spill had been contained with booms near the derailment site and an additional boom placed approximately 5 miles downstream. Williams had earlier said 33 oil cars derailed.

Williams says oil will be removed from that containment site with equipment to separate the oil from the water.

The railroad will focus on environmental recovery. Williams says “ongoing monitoring is occurring for any potential conditions that could impact workers and the community and, so far, have found no levels of concern.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is set to visit the site of an oil train derailment and oil spill in the northwestern corner of the state.

Reynolds’ office says in a news release that she plans to survey the site Saturday afternoon. The governor is also spending the day touring other areas hit by flooding in recent days.

The derailment of 32 oil tanker cars Friday (June 22) just south of Doon has caused concern for towns and cities downstream, as far south as Omaha, Nebraska, about 150 miles from the derailment site. Omaha’s public water utility — Metropolitan Utilities District — is monitoring pumps it uses to pull drinking water from the Missouri River.

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

Rock Valley, Iowa, just southwest of the derailment, shut off its water wells within hours of the accident.