EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — About one week removed from the controlled release from the East Palestine train derailment, residents are filtering back into their homes but are concerned.
One resident that spoke with First News was part of the first evacuation zone. She’s concerned about the after-effects on her family, business and farm animals.
Traci Meek and her husband run Buck Berry Farms in East Palestine. They sell soaps, candles and food made from their animals. The Meeks made their way back Wednesday and so far, reported no noticeable changes.
“We haven’t lost any chickens which would be the first to go because of their respiratory systems,” Meek said.
During the time they were evacuated, their animals couldn’t get the care needed.
“We have some bottle calves that are here and not being able to be here and be evacuated or being able to come back in, we were unable to feed him,” Meek said.
The Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio Department of Agriculture got involved and they were able to get in to feed their animals. Now, the Meeks are concerned about the long-term effects of the derailment and controlled release.
“The land, the pasture they’re eating on is it safe from them to eat that,” Meek said.
She’s also concerned about other products she uses from local farmers to care for her animals, and how it will affect the product she sells.
“The big issue is what I am now going to be producing, is it safe?” Meek said.
The Meeks also own a rental property closer to the accident and worry about the tenant and property there. Overall, she’s worried about the long-term effects, years down the road, especially for their kids.
“You always think you’re going have this home and this is where the kids want to come back to, but is it going to be the safe place for them to come back to? So it’s scary,” Meek said.
The Meeks told First News they are considering their options when it comes to a lawsuit.