Thirty-two cars of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train derailed. Fourteen of those cars leaked crude oil into the Rock River in Doon, Iowa. The cause of the derailment is unknown, but Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and other officials believe that the heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday which led to flooding is at least in part to blame. Flooding from the river has risen over the tracks.
The train has leaked 230,000 gallons of crude oil into the river.
Rock Valley felt prepared this time around, when the city faced its second flood in four years. Then, crude oil was added into the mix.” – The Des Moines Register
The river feeds Rock Valley’s water system. The city shut off its water wells within a few hours of the accident. Officials say they will drain and clean the wells and use a rural water system until tests show that the river water is safe again. The oil spill may also contaminate drinking water 150 miles downstream in Omaha and Nebraska. The Rock River merges with the Big Sioux River, which then feeds into the Missouri.
While none of the initial responses mentioned it, last week’s flooding and the resulting derailment could be related to climate change. A pre-Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment of climate change impacts in the Midwest found that precipitation and storms were projected to increase this century, and precipitation in some areas had already increased by 20 percent.” – EcoWatch
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