Flooding in northern Iowa derailed a train near Charles City early Tuesday morning which is now leaking ethanol and diesel fuel into the Little Cedar River.
Around 1:30 a.m. two engineers had to be rescued after flood waters washed-out the rail line. The engineers had to climb on top of the train and wait for emergency rescue crews as the flood waters continued to rise.
Clean-up crews later noticed the locomotive was leaking its diesel fuel. They have placed booms and absorbent pads around the engine in an effort to capture as much of the fuel as possible.
Officials say the partially submerged train was carrying ethanol and at first they didn’t believe any of the cars were leaking, but around 5 p.m. Tuesday the DNR confirmed one of the cars has a puncture and a slow leak. Because ethanol does not float on top of the water like the fuel it is nearly impossible to recover.
Crews will work to get the leaking car removed Tuesday night and hope to remove the locomotive Wednesday morning.
Charles City and surrounding areas have been preparing for flooding the last few days. The National Weather Service predicted the Cedar River would crest at 21 feet- the highest the river has been since 2008.