Canadian Pacific officials moving into “remediation phase” of Watertown derailment cleanup

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WATERTOWN -- Canadian Pacific officials on Tuesday afternoon, November 10th provided an update following the derailment of a train carrying Bakken crude oil that happened on Sunday afternoon, November 8th.

35 homes were evacuated as a result of that derailment. On Monday night, evacuees were notified that they would be able to return to their homes.

"It's been a nightmare!" Crystal Price said. "We were driving around for hours with animals in the cars."

And Price said Tuesday despite things somewhat getting back to normal in Watertown, she's not necessarily feeling relief.

"Is it going to happen again? What's going to occur next? Are we not going to be so lucky?" Price said. "I would still like to know what happened."

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

On Monday night, we learned trains were moving through the site of the derailment once again, albeit at reduced speeds.

CP officials said on Tuesday afternoon they are now moving into the "remediation phase" of this derailment response.

"Safety remains our highest priority as operations continue," Canadian Pacific officials said in a statement.

13 rail cars derailed on Sunday afternoon near West and Milford in Watertown.

Of those 13 rail cars, one spilled product. We learned Monday that 300 to 500 gallons of crude oil leaked.

The car that was punctured and leaked product is scheduled to be cleaned and purged before the end of the day Tuesday. This activity will lead to some steam emanating from the rail car, CP officials say.

If residents see vapors above the work site, CP officials say there's no need for concern.

Air monitoring in residential neighborhoods near the derailment site will continue until the cleanup is complete.

Canadian Pacific officials are working on a plan to transfer product from the other 12 derailed cars, which have been re-railed, to empty rail cars. We're told this effort should not result in vapors -- but again, air monitoring will continue.

Transfer operations will likely continue until the weekend, and subsequently, empty rail cars will be loaded onto flatcars or flatbed trucks and removed from the community. Only one empty car will be salvaged on site.

CP is working with regulators to implement a soil remediation plan. Once the salvage operation is complete, CP officials will move forward with this plan.

The claims center at Watertown's City Hall will remain open until 6:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, and from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Residents can call (920) 261-8812, extension 506.

Outside of Watertown, folks can call (608) 742-6910.

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