WILLARD, Ohio - A chemical spill on the CSX train tracks on North Main Street in Willard has been contained but people who lived within a half mile-radius of the spill remain forced out of their homes and into nearby motels or to the high school.
A railcar containing highly flammable liquid developed a significant hole and the liquid poured out of a tank, the city.The spill, which consisted of 12,500 gallons of chemical, was contained at 3:20 a.m. Toxicity levels outside of the immediate area of the spill are low, they said, however the flammability of the styrene monomer remains a primary concern.
About 400 households have been evacuated, police say. All three of the town's hotels are currently full with people forced from their homes.
In a tweet, Willard City officials said they hoped to get everyone back in their house sometime Thursday. They said they will meet with EPA officials, representatives from CSX, and other officials on Thursday morning to re-evaluate the situation.
On its Twitter page, the city added that they will send notice through their Everbridge system when they have a reliable time for residents to return home.
Any residents with pets in the evacuation zone may contact the Willard Police Department at 419-933-2561 so they can be moved to a safe location where they can be housed and fed.
Anyone who had to pay for hotel rooms when they were forced out can take receipts to the CSX Outreach representative at Willard High School and CSX will reimburse you. Since all hotel rooms in Willard are currently filled so CSX will provide rooms in either Tiffin or Sandusky to those in need.
NewsChannel5 talked to those evacuated at the high school. Some were concerned about how the evacuation notice was given, saying not everyone was notified at the same time.
A free meal will be available at Uncle Duddley's or the Willard Country Kitchen Wednesday and Friday nights. For Thanksgiving, anyone impacted will be able to go to the high school for a dinner between 1 and 4 p.m.
The Red Cross was at the high school, which was already closed for the holiday, and helping people displaced by the chemical spill.
Police said many are also staying with family or friends on the south side of town.
People in need of assistance should contact Willard Police Department at 419-933-2561.
Stay with newsnet5.com for any additional information.