EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — It’s been eight days since the train derailed in East Palestine, and residents are slowly trickling back into their homes hoping to regain a sense of normalcy.
First News was there earlier today and learns that a little bit of kindness goes a long way in trying times.
“Our community has always come together, no matter what’s happened we’ve always come together. For a small town, and it’s like everyone wants to help somebody,” said Sandy Wales, an East Palestine resident.
The Way Station in East Palestine is doing its part to help out as well. It handed out buckets, cleaning supplies, water and pet food for residents impacted by evacuation — all for free.
“So many right now that have been misplaced and they came home a lot of the electric was turned off so they had to throw out a lot of their food,” Wales said. “Everything needs cleaned.”
A community dumpster is set up at the Way Station, for anybody who needs to throw things away.
“We’re a small community so we are going to help as much as we can with another, there’s a lot of people in town a lot of businesses helping each other and that’s what we do,” said Aaron Nahar of Bulldog Junk Removal.
A mobile food truck, set up at the East Palestine Fire Department, gave out free tacos to all residents.
“It helps to bring that community back together,” said Keith Drabick, East Palestine fire chief. “It gives a somewhat sense of normalcy coming back. It’s important to share to the community that we care we want to go that extra step.”
“East Palestine Strong” is a phrase commonly used to describe the resilience of the community.
“The outpouring of support that we’ve got throughout this, whether it be monetary donations, food donations, just people stopping in to say thank you,” Drabick said. “We are here to serve them and our number one priority is their safety.”
Food, water and clothing are available for East Palestine Residents at the Columbiana County Way Station for the next few weeks.