Residents of East Palestine, Ohio Seek Clarity after Train Derailment

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EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (Erie News Now) — Residents in East Palestine, Ohio are very concerned after the recent train derailment.

It may seem like a beautiful day in the 60s in eastern Ohio, but even with the sunshine, there’s worry about what’s in the air, especially when the wind blows, you can catch a whiff of something in the air.

Stores are beginning to reopen after the train derailment, but worry still remains. We spoke to local residents who say what they want most right now is more transparency from the government.

They say there’s been mixed messages about how concerned they should be about the chemicals and toxins released. The EPA has currently set up a camp where they have been testing the water and air in the community park.

“It’s been challenging, communication has been few and far between trying to put the pieces together like a puzzle,” said D.J. Yokley, resident. “We are working to get them.”

“The chemicals in the creek are of more concern,” said William Hugar. “When it starts raining”

We spoke to lives right next to the tracks where the derailment occurred. He said he knew something was wrong when all the fire trucks made their way to his home.

He said this week has been challenging but has been pleased with the information he’s gotten from officials. He said he’s concerned as much about the air pollution as he is about the water pollution.

“It’s worrisome from a standpoint, they tell us they are not harmful, we had the EPA in here and they said it’s not harmful, you can bring your children in and then two days later, it’s actually a toxic chemical,” said Yokley. “I’m not a chemist, I’m not a scientist, I’m a sports broadcaster but you have to rely on the professionals an when you can’t rely on what they tell you, it’s a little troublesome and worrisome.”

Residents we spoke to say East Palestine is a small, close knit community made up of 4,700 people, everyone knows everyone so to see this happen has been a shock.

Residents say what they want most of all now is more communication from government officials. They say they’ve gotten mixed messages and just want some clarity.

The EPA currently has a camp set up where they have been testing the air and water and residents say that’s been worrisome too.

A town hall meeting took place Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. for residents to hopefully get more information and their questions answered.


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