Main Street Community Partnership
8:47 am
Thu May 1, 2014

If You Parked Near The Lynchburg Oil Train Blaze

You may move your car now --but first must check in with the police on 9th Street.  Because of the oil train disaster, many parked vehicles were stranded at Depot Grille or along Jefferson Street. Evacuees (around 300 people) now may return. On the downtown side of the James River, would-be bike trail riders and RiverWalk users need to make other plans for the near future.

These were among the points in a recent dispatch from municipal authorities.

The Wednesday, April 30, 2014  fiery derailment of a CSX oil train sent a 50-foot fireball skyward with a tower of black smoke. Various sources reported that fire engulfed up to four of the railcars. Responders managed to keep the fire from spreading to other tank cars or to nearby buildings and then let the existing fire burn itself out.

The oil spill into the James River from the incident is still being assessed. On the day of the blaze, Virginia's capital city of Richmond (which is downriver of the spill) considered  switching to emergency backup drinking water sources. Other localities are deciding case by case whether to change their water sources temporarily; some officials said that water intake pipes in the deepest parts of the river could continue working since oil slicks tend to float along the surface.

As the situation slowly moves from the local state of emergency to something closer to normal, more updates will appear on the Lynchburg official website.

News media worldwide have been showing copies of an eyewitness video posted to Instagram by Sheri Felipe. Her original video has more sound and clarity than the journalist-copied versions. Here is a link to the video's page.

Image credit: Twitter user James Riverkeeper (@UpperJamesRK) pic.twitter.com/OkIcZzWMS5