Estimated 230,000 gallons of oil spilled

Estimated 230,000 gallons of oil spilled

Almost half the spill - an estimated 100,000 gallons (378,530 liters) - had been contained with booms near the derailment site and an additional boom placed approximately 5 miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream, Williams said.

Officials say they don't know what caused the train to go off the rails, although a local, Jacob Faber, told the Des Moines Register that there was water on the train tracks. The water towers also will be drained as a precaution, said Rock Valley public information officer Travis Olson.

Tank cars carrying crude oil are shown derailed in Lyon County, Iowa, Friday. He said Saturday that the cause of the derailment hasn't been determined. Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep (VAN'-dur stoop) in neighboring Lyon County says the train derailed between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Friday just south of Doon.

Olson says the city will use the rural water supply until testing by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirms the safety of the city's drinking water.

According to the Associated Press, officials at the scene believed that the floodwaters were a factor in the derailment, but were unsure whether high water pushed cars off the track, damaged the track in some way, or played some other role.

Crews spent Saturday containing the spill and building a temporary road to move equipment to the crash site to make it easier to remove the piled-up train cars and advance the cleanup, the Sioux City Journal reported. Williams said officials hoped to reach the cars by sometime Saturday afternoon.

Some officials have speculated that floodwaters eroded soil beneath the train track. The river rose rapidly after 13 to 18 cm of rain fell in the days prior to the derailment. The Rock River joins the Big Sioux River before merging into the Missouri River at Sioux City.

Evacuations began in Rocky Valley early Friday morning as water poured into homes and basements.

Doon is about 40 miles (65 kilometres) southeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where several rain-swollen rivers overflowed Thursday.

Williams says crews have been skimming oil from floodwaters.

It's also unclear how many cars derailed and what caused the derailment.

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