Tribal leaders have voiced a stern demand: No more oil and coal trains through the Columbia River Gorge. Leaders from the Yakama Nation, Lummi Nation, Warm Springs and Umatilla tribes gathered in Mosier Thursday morning to publicly condemn fossil fuel traffic by rail through the Gorge — an impassioned response to last Friday’s derailment.
With the roughly 280,000 gallons of oil remaining in the 16 derailed train cars in Mosier finally offloaded Wednesday morning, and stored in The Dalles, work began right away on removing the cars themselves.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today addressed the U.S. House of Representatives after Friday’s train derailment near Mosier in the Columbia Gorge. Walden pledged to continue working with federal, state, and local officials to learn more about what happened and what can be done to make sure it never happens again. WITH VIDEO
The Yakama Nation, with Northwest tribes, will host a press conference on the lown of Mosier Elementary School in Mosier today, June 9, at 10 a.m., according to a press release from Columbia River Keeper.
With the roughly 280,000 gallons of oil remaining in the 16 derailed train cars in Mosier finally offloaded Wednesday morning, and stored in The Dalles, work began right away on removing the cars themselves. The derailed cars, which were decontaminated first, will be taken to Portland and scrapped, said Greg Svelund, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
MOSIER — Local politicians and residents reacted with shock and anger Monday as Union Pacific began running trains through this tiny Columbia River Gorge town just three days after a fiery derailment forced residents to evacuate and water and sewage systems to shut down.
Information as per Mosier Community School's website and the public health department: No School for students the week of June 6th due to the recent events which happened in Mosier. 8th grade promotion will be rescheduled and Oaks Park for Mosier Middle School students has been cancelled. An end of the year celebration will be held - date to be announced. This will be a time for closure and when parent/students will be able to pick up report cards and items left at the school last week.
Response center established in Mosier The North Central Public Health District reports the following: Per DEQ air monitors, air quality remains good. A client center for Mosier residents impacted by the train derailment has been opened in Mosier (located behind the Mosier Middle School Gymnasium or 3rd Ave.). Union Pacific will provide lodging for residents and provide reimbursement for hotels utilized Friday night by displaced residents. A Union Pacific call center has also been set-up at 877-877-2567. Press option #6 to speak to a representative.
Stephen Schwiff was in a meeting in Hood River Friday when he first saw the smoke. Others took to their phones and quickly had news about the huge black plume: “They said, ‘Oh, there’s a railroad disaster in Mosier. They closed the highway,’” Schwiff recounted.
Mike Heiser, a resident of Mosier, had purchased some plants Friday and was just getting ready to put them in the ground around noon when he heard a big crash and the “whoof” of an explosion. He saw smoke west of town, and heard another “whoof.” Heiser drove to where the Mosier exit overpass crosses the train tracks and saw that at least eight tanker cars had derailed about 100 yards from the overpass, and one was burning.
The American Red Cross shelter opened in The Dalles due to the oil train derailment and subsequent evacuations will remain open today, Saturday, and through the night to assist affected residents. The shelter is located at Dry Hollow Elementary School, 1314 E. 19th St., The Dalles.
UPDATED WITH PHOTOS Mike Heiser, a resident of Mosier, had purchased some plants Friday and was just getting ready to put them in the ground around noon when he heard a big crash, the “whoof” of an explosion.
Residents of The Dalles wanting to pay utility bills at city hall will find the finance office with reduced public hours between June 7 through 10 to accommodate installation of a new software system and staff training. The service window will be open from 1 to 4 p.m.
Base will bring at least 15 workers to region for three months
Fire tankers funded by Washington’s Department of Natural Resources began contract operations June 1, the official start of the fire watch season, and crews at the Mid-Columbia Regional Airport in Dallesport, above, worked through the logistics of loading the large single-engine tankers Wednesday afternoon.