Crews worked through record-setting weekend heat to offload oil from tanker cars and remove damaged train cars by flatbed trucks following Friday’s train derailment in the Columbia River Gorge.
Portable showers and toilets were delivered to Mosier Sunday afternoon as the water treatment and sewer system in the town was damaged in the derailment and fire. Officials indicated Sunday that Mosier’s “waste water treatment plant and [the city’s] sewer lines are now non-operational as a result of damage from the train derailment.”
During a press conference Saturday, Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill explained that firefighters used city water combat a blaze that erupted from overturned oil tanker car. “So they just put a boil order on for the citizens that way they were safe, just to make sure they were safe,” said Magill.
As a result, residents are now drawing water from an old well that has not recently been tested.
In fact, a boil water notice hung on the door of the local school, where a makeshift incident response center is setup.
Officials have not reported any drinking water contamination as a result of the oil spill.
Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality expects results from the water in the back-up well sometime Monday.
A representative from Union Pacific indicated Sunday the derailment may have been caused by a rail tie failure, but an official cause of the derailment has not been determined.
Officials said they are continuing to monitor an oil sheen that was spotted six feet offshore the Columbia River, but additional sheen hasn’t been observed.
The Interstate 84 Mosier exit remains closed.