FEMA sends some officials 15 days after train derailment, East Palestine - OH
A small contingent of workers with FEMA met with public officials in East Palestine 15 days after a Norfolk Southern trail derailed releasing toxic chemicals into the air and water which led to the evacuation of around 2,000 people.
Saturday, February 18th 2023, 8:17 PM EST
A small contingent of workers with FEMA met with public officials in East Palestine 15 days after a Norfolk Southern trail derailed releasing toxic chemicals into the air and water which led to the evacuation of around 2,000 out of the town's 5,000 people.
Congressman Bill Johnson says the boots on the ground are there to learn about residents needs.
Because of their absence until now many people and business owners are asking why FEMA still won't declare this a disaster area?
15 days after the Norfolk Southern train derailed sending thousands of gallons of toxins spewing into the air, and leaking into creeks, streams and waterways there are signs of encouragement and requests for prayer.
Kathleen Unkafer who has worked at Flowers & Gifts Straight from the Heart, for decades tells us the owner put the sign up since people here need prayers and help not just now but over the long term.
"It's been very devastating for our poor little town. Like I said I've lived here my whole life and it's heartbreaking," said Unkafer.
She and others are glad to hear FEMA has arrived but they don't understand why some don't see how the train derailment and chemicals didn't created a disaster.
She and others in East Palestine tell WFMJ News folks there and in nearby communities need all the help they can get.
"They're afraid to come back in town. They're afraid to drink the water, and they're afraid for the future for their kids, to play in their yards,"
Others from nearby communities took it upon themselves to show Christ's love by providing free bottled water to folks.
"We just wanted to let them know that there's a lot of good people there willing to lend them a helping hand," said Mike. Mike didn't want to give us his last name but told us he was on his second load of water that was being given away for free.
An Ohio Highway State Trooper even joined in to lend a helping hand.
Businesses put out signs stating, "East Palestine Strong."
Folks just need lawmakers to be strong and not bend to rail road lobbyists when it comes to their safety and rail safety.