EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – One of the stars of a popular streaming series was in East Palestine Friday to help those in the area who are still concerned about their water, nearly two months since the toxic train derailment.
Luke Grimes, who plays the character Kayce Dutton on the hit show “Yellowstone” came to help pass out water filtration systems in the parking lot of the Roadhouse Restaurant.
Some arrived around 6:30 a.m., almost two hours early for the distribution.
Grimes is from the Dayton area and said he watched coverage of the derailment and its aftermath on the news and felt compelled to help shed some light on the situation. He partnered with the Jeff Ruby Steakhouse chain to donate the water filtration systems.
“Ohio means a lot to me. It’s where I grew up. It’s my home state, and these are my people,” Grimes said.
“The words ‘it takes a village’ really do mean something to about 4,800 people (referencing the population of East Palestine),” Ruby said.
While Grimes weathered a steady rain to sign autographs and pose for photos with anyone who asked, many were glad to get the help, including Cayla Miller.
“I’ve been active in the community and trying to press for soil testing and the filtration systems and stuff so we can live with this,” Miller said.
Mayor Trent Conaway helped pass out the boxes to help move things along. It wasn’t long ago that Conaway said he longed for the day when the media would leave this little town, but he admits that exposure like this also puts a light on his community but creates a difficult balance.
“We need the media, still. We need the presence here to shine a light on the situation but yet not get overrun,” Conaway said.
While he says there is still more work to be done, another 250 of the filters are due to arrive next week.