EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Work continues in East Palestine on the railroad tracks after the derailment. It has now been 101 days since the train derailment. On Monday, we talked to East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabick, who explained how the village is working to rebound from the incident.
Chief Drabick describes the current situation in East Palestine as “ongoing.” He says the village is not back to normal yet and that everyone’s situation is different.
“There are some residents that are having a hard time, some that are having some symptoms. Others are doing fine. You know, we’re directing them to the professionals, those that are having the symptoms,” Chief Drabick said.
East Taggart Street is still closed from South Pleasant Drive to the state line because work is still being done there. Cranes are still removing dirt from the tracks — trucks haul the dirt out and street sweepers clean the roads up after them.
Trains continue traveling on the tracks through town. Even still, Chief Drabick says the community is staying strong throughout this process.
“The people are very caring, very giving. Everybody loves this village. Everybody wants to see it return back to where it was, better than what it was, and we’re all striving for that,” he said.
The outpouring of support is helping the village come back.
“I’ve never seen support like this in all my years. The community’s just outstanding, every aspect of it. Everybody is willing to lend a hand, help, and all the support coming from outside the village, all across the country has been phenomenal,” Chief Drabick said.
As for the future, Chief Drabick hopes East Palestine can continue to regain strength. He wants to see businesses come and watch the community grow again.