Tamaroa Evacuees Spend Another Night Away From Home
February 11, 2003 at 3:42 AM CST - Updated June 19 at 11:02 PM
Tamaroa Evacuees Spend Another Night Away From Home By: Kate Scott
Clean up continues in Tamaroa, Illinois.
That's where a train carrying hazardous chemicals jumped the tracks on Sunday morning.Several freight cars caught fire, and as many as a thousand people within a three-mile radius had to leave home.
On Monday night, workers planned to transfer thousands of gallons of vinyl chloride from a wrecked railroad car, into a new tank.Vinyl chloride is a colorless, flammable gas, which can be deadly.Workers said the transfer job could take anywhere from six to twelve hours.But until that part of the job is finished, there won’t be a decision on when displaced residents can return to their homes.
Meanwhile, many Tamaroa families are staying at the American Legion Post in Du Quoin, which has been turned into a shelter.The American Red Cross is providing the food.Evacuees who aren't staying there have either found beds in nearby motels or at the homes of family and friends.
The Super-8 Motel in Du Quoin is housing many displaced residents.They include 9-year old Cassy Burdel and her cousin, 5-year old Braxton Clark.The kids say they'd rather be at home with their toys and pets, but they're making the best of motel life.“It's kind of boring,” Cassy admits.“But we get to run up and down the halls, and there's a Jacuzzi.”Braxton chimes in, “And we jumped across two beds!”
Cassy and Braxton say another perk of being evacuated has been getting to buy new clothes, thanks to money supplied by the American Red Cross.“We had to leave all our clothes at home,” Cassy explains.
The kids in Tamaroa have been told they won't be going back to school until the town reopens, and right now, no one knows for sure that when that will be.
Tamaroa evacuees can now call a hotline for updates on when they may be able to return home.That number is 618-542-3285, extension 0.The line is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.