EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – A woman who missed Friday’s derailment and fire in East Palestine by just hours said the evacuation orders issued over the weekend may have been too difficult for some to follow.
Although emergency management officials urged anyone within a 1-mile radius of the derailment scene to leave the area for their safety, dozens have stayed.
On Monday, Gov. DeWine emplored those people to leave to avoid imminent danger.
Christina Dilworth says while she and her adult children were all able to find places to stay, she knows there have been those who cannot leave and she’s worried for them.
“Right now, they are evacuating people. They can’t leave their home. They have no place to go. They might live month-to-month with a social security check or they don’t have the means to just go, ‘OK, I’m going to go to a hotel cause I work at a hotel,'” Dilworth said.
Christina also has concerns about the process of getting reimbursed for expenses and even lost wages because of the derailment. She thinks the longer residents are away from their homes and businesses, the more bills will mount.
Several agencies and Norfolk Southern are working to help residents in the area.
An evacuation shelter remains in place at East Palestine Junior/Senior High School. It’s being staffed by the Red Cross with meals and a place to stay.
Norfolk opened a family assistance center in the East Palestine Park Community Center, but as of Monday moved that shelter to Abundant Life Fellowship Church in New Waterford because of road closures in the area. The address of the church is 46469 Route 46, New Waterford, Ohio. It will open starting at noon Monday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the duration of the evacuation.
Patty Coller contributed to this report.