Second tanker car stabilized; shelter-in-place restrictions lifted


by WHAS11/News Release

Posted on November 4, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 2:56 PM

LOUISVILLE, KY (WHAS) -- Louisville, Ky. (WHAS) – In a statement just released from the Mayor’s Press Office, the “shelter-in-place” restrictions have been lifted after the second rail car was repositioned and stabilized.

Air traffic, water and evacuation restriction were lifted Sunday evening but Dixie Highway will remain closed until further notice.

A Code Red message was sent out to residents within a five-mile radius of the derailment site, which is alongside U.S. 31 in the South Dixie area of southwestern Jefferson County, around 10 a.m.  in order to allow crews to spend the day stabilizing cars containing hydrogen fluoride. 

Around 1 p.m. Sunday, stabilization of the first rail car was nearly complete. The next step will include a one hour break, then crews will start on the second car. 

According to EMA/Metrosafe,  it's estimated that each car will take four hours to upright, plus a one hour break in between cars, which means the "shelter in place" order will stand for at least nine hours.

For more detailed information regarding the "shelter in place" order, click here.

UPDATE: The second Hydrogen Fluoride rail car has been put in place and is in the process of being stabilized with dirt, there were no incidents during the operation. There will be a briefing at 6 p.m. and it will be determined at that time if it is safe to lift the shelter in place and/ or evacuation. We will provide our final update for the day after the operations meeting.

Here are some alternative routes provided by the Radcliff Police Department.

1.    Logsdon Pkwy.  right on Rogersville Rd. left on Deckard School Rd. left on Hwy. 220, then  right on south bound U.S. 31-W.

2.    Logsdon Pkwy. Right on Lincoln Trail Blvd. right on Hwy. 313 left on Hwy. 1600 through Flaherty to Elizabethtown.

Click the link for detour information.

The following instructions are for Shelter-in-Place and the Louisville/Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency would like to relay these instructions.

How can I be prepared?

At home:

  • Choose a room in advance for your shelter. The best room is one with as few windows and doors as possible. A large room, preferably with a water supply, is desirable—something like a master bedroom that is connected to a bathroom.
  • Contact your workplaces, your children's schools, nursing homes where you may have family and your local town or city officials to find out what their plans are for "shelter-in-place." 
  • Find out when warning systems will be tested. When tested in your area, determine whether you can hear or see sirens and/or warning lights from your home.
  • Develop your own family emergency plan so that every family member knows what to do. Practice it regularly.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes emergency water and food supplies.

At work:

  • Help ensure that the emergency plan and checklist involves all employees. Volunteers or recruits should be assigned specific duties during an emergency. Alternates should be assigned to each duty.
  • The shelter kit should be checked on a regular basis. Duct tape and first aid supplies can sometimes disappear when all employees know where the shelter kit is stored. Batteries for the radio and flashlight should be replaced regularly.

How will I know when I need to "shelter-in-place"?

Fire or police department warning procedures could include:

  • "All-Call" telephoning—an automated system for sending recorded messages, sometimes called "reverse 9-1-1."
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcasts on the radio or television.
  • Outdoor warning sirens or horns.
  • News media sources—radio, television and cable.
  • NOAA Weather Radio alerts.
  • Residential route alerting—messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems.

How do I "shelter in place"?

The appropriate steps depend on the emergency situation. If you hear a warning signal, listen to local radio or television stations for further information. You will be told what to do, including where to find the nearest shelter if you are away from your "shelter-in-place" location.
At home:

If you are told to "shelter-in-place," act quickly. Follow the instructions of local authorities. In general:

  • Bring children and pets indoors immediately. If your children are at school, do not try to bring them home unless told to. The school will shelter them.
  • Close and lock all outside doors and windows. Locking may provide a tighter seal.
  • If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds or curtains.
  • Turn off the heating, ventilation or air conditioning system. Turn off all fans, including bathroom fans operated by the light switch.
  • Close the fireplace or woodstove damper.
  • Get your disaster supplies kit and make sure the radio is working.
  • Take everyone, including pets, into an interior room * with no or few windows and shut the door. *an interior room The room should have ten square feet of floor space per person in order to provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide buildup for five hours. In this room, you should store scissors, plastic sheeting pre-cut to fit over any windows or vents and rolls of duct tape to secure the plastic. Access to a water supply is desirable, as is a working hard-wired telephone. Don't rely on cell phones because cellular telephone circuits may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. Also, a power failure will render most cordless phones inoperable.
  • If you have pets, prepare a place for them to relieve themselves where you are taking shelter. Pets should not go outside during a chemical or radiation emergency because it is harmful to them and they may track contaminants into your shelter. The Humane Society of the United States suggests that you have plenty of plastic bags and newspapers, as well as containers and cleaning supplies, to help deal with pet waste.
  • If you are instructed to seal the room, use duct tape and plastic sheeting, such as heavy-duty plastic garbage bags, to seal all cracks around the door into the room. Tape plastic over any windows. Tape over any vents and seal electrical outlets and other openings. As much as possible, reduce the flow of air into the room.
  • Call your emergency contact and keep the phone handy in case you need to report a life-threatening condition. Otherwise stay off the phone, so that the lines will be available for use by emergency responders. 
  • Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Do not evacuate unless instructed to do so.
  • When you are told that the emergency is over, open windows and doors, turn on ventilation systems and go outside until the building's air has been exchanged with the now clean outdoor air. Follow any special instructions given by emergency authorities to avoid chemical or radiological contaminants outdoors.

In your vehicle:

  • If you are very close to home, your workplace or a public building, go there immediately and go inside. Follow the "shelter-in-place" recommendations for that location.
  • If you are unable to get indoors quickly and safely, then pull over to the side of the road. Stop your vehicle in the safest place possible. If it is sunny outside, it is preferable to stop under a bridge or in a shady spot to avoid being overheated.
  • Turn off the engine.
  • Close windows and vents.
  • If possible, seal the heating, ventilating and air conditioning vents with duct tape or anything else you may have available.
  • Listen to the radio periodically for updated advice and instructions. (Modern car radios consume very little battery power and should not affect your ability to start your car later.)
  • Stay where you are until you are told it is safe to get back on the road. Be aware that some roads may be closed or traffic detoured. Follow the directions of law enforcement officials.

At work:

Check with your workplace to learn their plans for dealing with a hazardous materials emergency. Their "shelter in place" plans should include the following:

  • Employers should close the office, making any customers, clients or visitors in the building aware that they need to stay until the emergency is over. Close and lock all windows, exterior doors and any other openings to the outside.
  • A knowledgeable person should use the building's mechanical systems to turn off all heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems. The systems that automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air, in particular, need to be turned off, sealed or disabled.
  • Unless there is an imminent threat, employers should ask employees, customers, clients and visitors to call their emergency contacts to let them know where they are and that they are safe.
  • If time permits and it is not possible for a person to monitor the telephone, turn on call-forwarding or alternative telephone answering systems or services. If the business has voicemail or an automated attendant, it should be switched to a recording that indicates that the business is closed and that staff and visitors are remaining in the building until authorities advise it is safe to leave.

If you are told there is danger of explosion, close any window shades, blinds or curtains near your workspace. Take your workplace disaster supplies kits and go to your pre-determined sheltering room(s).

  • The rooms should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit, including an estimated number of visitors. Large storage closets, utility rooms, pantries, break rooms and copy and conference rooms without exterior windows would work well. Access to bathrooms is a plus. It is ideal to have hard-wired telephones in the rooms you select; use cordless phones (but not cell phones—the system may be overloaded in an emergency), if necessary. The rooms should be equipped with a disaster supplies kit.
  • Turn on the radios or TVs. If instructed to do so by officials, use duct tape and plastic sheeting, such as heavy-duty plastic garbage bags, to seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room. Seal any windows and/or vents with sheets of plastic and duct tape. As much as possible, reduce the flow of air into the room.
  • One person per room should write down the names of everyone in the room. Call your business-designated emergency contact* to report who is in the room with you and their affiliation with your business (employee, visitor, client, customer). *business-designated emergency contact - Businesses and schools should assign one or two people to collect information on who is in the building when an emergency happens so that first responders can know everyone is accounted for, if necessary.
  • Keep listening to the radio or watching TV for updates until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate.
  • When you are told that all is safe, open windows and doors, turn on heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and go outside until the building's air has been exchanged with the now-clean outdoor air. Follow any special instructions given by emergency authorities to avoid chemical or radiological contaminants outdoors.

For more information, contact: