EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – We have been following the impacts on local businesses after the derailment in East Palestine. One of the businesses is Flowers Straight from the Heart.
Owner Joy Mascher and her husband have owned the flower shop on N. Market Street for almost 10 years. When we spoke to them just days after the derailment, they said the incident has been detrimental to their business. Thursday, Mascher said she wants more aid from the federal government for everyone in East Palestine.
Mascher kept her doors closed until the air quality and water were checked. She said it took days for anyone from Norfolk Southern to show up at her door.
“They want tax papers. I believe it’s like three years’ worth of back paperwork, and I just folded up and put it away being Valentine’s Day, and I’m not even ready to look at it yet,” she said.
Mascher believes everyone should be compensated by the railroad company, but she’s not giving any documents to Norfolk Southern.
“They need to step it up, big time. The federal has dropped the ball completely. The state, I belive, has dropped the ball. Our mayor is in way over his head and has asked for help and he didn’t sign up for this catastrophe.” Mascher said. “We all deserve compensation. I have employees that missed work. A lot needs to get done.
Mascher worries about the future when it comes to environmental impacts and other businesses in the village.
“There’s still a lot of unanswered questions. I’m concerned about my well water and my chickens. It’s scary,” she said. “We need help. We need people here shopping, supporting us. We’re a small-town community. We need help, bad.”
Mascher said she thinks having politicians visit the village will give this incident the attention it needs.