FOURTH UPDATE: Railroad Says 230,000 Gallons Of Crude Leaked Into Floodwaters

Doon, Iowa — Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad officials now say 230,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into the floodwaters of the Little Rock River just above the Rock River South of Doon early Friday morning.

A statement released on Saturday evening by railroad officials states:

“Crews continued working through the night at the BNSF Railway crude oil train derailment site near Doon, Iowa. In the June 22 incident, 32 rail cars derailed, 14 cars were compromised spilling an estimated 230,000 gallons. Hazardous materials and environmental experts are containing spilled oil with booms and recovering it with skimmers and vacuum trucks. At this point, an estimated 100,000 gallons of product has been contained with booms near the derailment and an additional boom has been placed approximately five miles downstream. Oil will be removed from the immediate derailment area with oil-water separators. In addition to focusing on the environmental recovery, ongoing monitoring is occurring for any potential conditions that could impact workers and the community and so far have found no levels of concern. We are thankful there were no injuries as a result of this incident and regret the inconvenience it has caused the community. BNSF continues to work with those directly impacted and with local officials.”


Third update, posted Jun 23, 2018 at 3:50 p.m.

Doon, Iowa — Early Friday morning, June 22, 2018, a freight train hauling crude oil from Alberta, Canada derailed 33 cars just south of Doon.

We had a chance to talk to Amy McBeth who is a BNSF spokesperson on-scene at the derailment site. We asked her if a cause has been determined for the derailment.

She says it is not yet known how much crude oil has leaked into the floodwaters near the mouth of the Little Rock River where it joins the Rock River.

She says they’re not sure how long it will take to clean up the area, repair the track, and get trains running again. She says she knows they’ll certainly be there for the next few days. Trains are being re-routed as much as possible around the area. There were no injuries in the incident, according to McBeth.

Some of the oil has flowed down the Rock River to Rock Valley, where they were already experiencing major flooding issues, according to Rock Valley Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo. The Iowa DNR has instructed Rock Valley to shut down their wells, partially due to the oil spill. Van Otterloo says the City of Rock Valley is currently getting their residential water supply from Rock Valley Rural Water. City officials say there has been no interruption of water service or quality to Rock Valley residents.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds toured northwest Iowa on Saturday and issued a disaster proclamation, partially for help needed in derailment cleanup efforts. The proclamation says that reports forwarded to the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department indicate response, recovery, and remediation efforts to clear the derailment require the construction of a temporary road to reach the derailed cars. It says Burlington Northern Santa Fe contractors need to complete construction of this temporary road as soon as possible to limit the impact to the public peace, health, and safety of citizens. So the Governor issued a Proclamation of a State of Disaster Emergency.


Second update posted Jun 22, 2018 at 6:17 p.m.

Doon, Iowa — We’re now hearing from the railroad company about the derailment of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad train into floodwaters south of Doon Friday morning, and the subsequent oil spill.

BNSF spokesperson Amy McBeth released this statement to KIWA regarding the accident:

“At approximately 4:30 a.m. this morning a freight train hauling crude oil from Alberta, Canada derailed 33 cars just south of Doon, Iowa. Some of the cars were compromised, but the exact number is uncertain at this time. BNSF is working with local authorities on our response to the situation. Our hazardous materials and environmental experts are on the scene and have mobilized response equipment throughout the day. We are containing the oil that was spilled as close to the incident as possible using containment booms and recovering it with skimmers and vacuum trucks. We regret any inconvenience this incident has caused and are working directly with those impacted. There were no injuries reported. Further updates will be provided when available.”

First update posted 12:30 p.m. 6/22/2018:

Doon, Iowa — The derailment of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad train into floodwaters south of Doon Friday morning has caused a major oil spill.

The tanker cars were loaded with crude oil, which is leaking into the flood waters. Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says the large oil slick threatens an already difficult flood situation for the downstream city of Rock Valley.

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 D-N-R 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.

Environmental Program Supervisor and Spencer Field Office Superintendent Kenneth Hessenius says they are monitoring the situation.

Hessenius is also concerned about the plume reaching Rock Valley 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.

Aerial photos of the oil spill are courtesy of Phil Kooima…………………..



Original post 10:08am 6/22/2018

Doon, Iowa — A derailment on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad south of Doon has caused mandatory evacuations in the area.

The area of Garfield Avenue between 270th Street (the county line) and 280th Street, south of Doon has been evacuated. Authorities believe the cargo may be crude oil.

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep tells us the situation as of 9:00 this morning.

He says that the cause is undetermined, but he would guess that it was flood-related.

The Sheriff tells us that since the wind was from the north, they didn’t have to evacuate Doon. But he says the smell is “really bad.”

Rock Valley mayor Kevin Van Otterloo says the swift floodwaters have quickly brought some of the oil about seven miles down the Rock River to Rock Valley.

Thanks to Lyon County Sheriff’s Office for the top photo and the one below:

The photo below was texted to us at KIWA:

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