According to the Associated Press, BNSF railroad spokesman Andy Williams said no one was injured in the derailment, and hazardous materials and environmental experts were on the scene within hours of the accident. He says almost half the spill had been contained with booms near the derailment site and an additional boom placed approximately 5 miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream. The BNSF Railway Company has not revealed how much oil the tankers were carrying, and said it doesn't know how much oil has leaked, but that a clean-up is underway. Williams said "ongoing monitoring is occurring for any potential conditions that could impact workers and the community and, so far, have found no levels of concern".
The National Weather Service says the Rock River is expected to crest later Friday about a foot below the 2014 record of almost 23 feet (7 meters), when several Rock Valley homes were damaged by the floodwater. Dozens of damaged cars are seen piled on the broken train tracks near the Rock River.
Sheriff Vander Stoep said, "There is so much food for the workers and for us at the incident command, it's just wonderful how little these communities come together". "We've had skimmers working since yesterday on the floodwater south of the site".
Railroad crews have also built a 1/8 mile gravel road out to the cars to clean up the mess. Williams says some of the tankers were compromised, causing the oil to leak into floodwaters and eventually into the rain-swollen Little Rock River, but officials don't yet have an exact number of tankers that leaked oil.
The train was carrying tar sands oil from Canada to Oklahoma for ConocoPhillips.
After a train derailed early Friday morning, thousands of gallons of oil spilled into floodwaters in Lyon County.
Beaudo also did not know whether the derailed oil cars were the safer, newer tankers meant to help prevent leaks in the event of an accident.
"We lease those cars and are in the process of verifying with the owners the exact rail auto specifications", Beaudo said in an email.
Cleanup of an oil spill caused by the derailment of almost three dozen oil tankers in northwestern Iowa has begun.
The spill threatened to contaminate drinking water for residents about 150 miles (240 km) downstream in Omaha, Nebraska. The spill reached the Rock River, which joins the Big Sioux River before merging into the Missouri River at Sioux City.
Metropolitan Utilities District, which provides the Omaha metro area's drinking water, said it was monitoring the spill.
City public information officer Travis Olson says the wells were shut down as soon as Rock Valley officials were told of the derailment and oil spill north of them early Friday morning.