Roughly 230,000 gallons of oil spilled in Doon

Roughly 230,000 gallons of oil spilled in Doon

Rock Valley, with a population of almost 3,400, sits on the Rock River about five miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream from the derailment site.

About 100,000 gallons had been hemmed off using booms out of the estimated 230,000 gallons spilled, BNSF said in a statement on Saturday.

Olson says Rock Valley's water towers also will be drained as a precaution.

Authorities say crude oil is leaking from one or more of 31 tanker cars that have derailed in northwest Iowa.

Rock Valley, just southwest of the derailment, shut off its water wells within hours of the spill.

The sheriff said the "flood is definitely causing a lot of problems".

Metropolitan Utilities District, which provides the Omaha metro area's drinking water, said it was monitoring the spill.

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Officials at the scene agreed that floodwater from the swollen Little Rock River played a part in causing the cars to leave the tracks, but said they weren't yet sure whether the waters compromised the track, physically pushed the cars off it or played a part in some other way.

A major part of that work includes building a temporary road parallel to the tracks to allow in cranes that can remove the derailed and partially submerged oil cars.

While the cause for the derailment has not been officially determined, a disaster proclamation by the state's governor and local officials blamed flooding caused by two days of heavy rain for eroding the soil beneath the railroad tracks.

Ken Hessenius with the Iowa Natural Resources Department says his crews will try to determine how fast the oil is being carried downstream by the rain-swollen Little Rock River. Williams said officials hoped to reach the cars by sometime Saturday afternoon.

No information was immediately available on how much oil each of the tankers was carrying. It joins the Rock River a few hundreds yard west, which courses south into the Big Sioux River. Cleanup crews were dispatched to the site.

Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep (VAN'-dur stoop) says four homes near the site have been evacuated. That empties into the Missouri River at Sioux City. The Rock River, which is usually about 100 yards wide (about 91 m), is now about half a mile (804 m) wide, according to Iowa Natural Resources Department spokesman Ken Hessenius.

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