Homes evacuated in Willard

Chemical spill Tuesday night
Joe Centers
Nov 27, 2013


A train derailment and chemical spill forced the evacuation of about 400 homes Tuesday night in Willard.

City Manager Brian Humphress said about 26,000 gallons of flammable liquid was spilled and it could take some time to clean it all up.

Willard High School has been set up as a shelter.

The incident occurred in the Willard rail yard near the underpasses on North Main Street. The chemical, styrene monomer, is highly flammable.

The evacuation area is Washburn Road to the west, Townline Road/Niver Road to the north, Second Street to the northeast, Myrtle Avenue to the southeast and Tiffin to the south.

Willard public safety and CSX cleanup crews are on the scene.

Willard officials have stated as soon as they reliably know residents can return to the area, they will send out a notification through the Everbridge alert system.

Residents of the evacuation zone who have pets still located in their homes are asked to contact the Willard police department.

Attempts are going to be made to remove the animals to a safe location where they can be housed and fed. Call the police or city to coordinate this, Willard officials said.

Also, those residents who need to obtain their medications from their homes should also contact the police department.

"Due to the concerns for public safety, the cleanup effort by CSX is going slower than originally anticipated," Willard officials stated on the city's Twitter feed.

"Therefore, the evacuation zone will remain in effect until further notice," officials added.

"There is a possibility that residents of part of the area may not be able to return to their home for a couple of days."

"CSX and state officials are constantly monitoring the situation and the cleanup, including the draining of the damage tanker, is under way," officials said. "However, the flammability of the styrene monomer is such that caution must be utilized to protect the public safety.

"Therefore, until soil and air monitoring indicates it is safe for residents to return to their homes, we (ask) everyone to be patient," officials added. "We hope that the initial testing will be completed within a few hours. At that time, we will pass on when we expect residents may return.

"The goal of everyone involved is to return residents to their home as quickly as safety concerns will allow," officials said on Twitter. 



Very bad time to be uprooted from home !

Mr. Touchdown

Wth...Evacuation emergency in Willard & no emergency alert over cable tv & no emergency alert over phone system. I get automated phone calls from the school when they have parent teacher conferences or school delays but nothing for a real emergency??? Sorry I refuse to do the twitter/ facebook crap!

Scranton Tibbs

Because of the "Twitter/Facebook crap" I found out about it, from 100 miles away. Get with the program Mr. Amish Touchdown.


Toledo 11 said at noon ,they even made door to door notice !


Hello bright ones I know I was sleeping not awake to watch tv or emergency alerts. Also I either don't have my phone on at night. I think they made a great choice to go door to door.

Mr. Touchdown

I am in fact a bright one. I was sleeping & got woke up by my cell phone blowing up w people asking me whats going on. Figured if it really happened it would be broadcast over the cable as an emergency alert but I seen nothing. I live & work in Willard but I don't live within the 1/2 mile radius so I had no cops knocking on my door either. I'm sure everyone was concerned for friends & family who live & work near the area. Either way I hope they get the spill cleaned up quick & get everyone home for the holiday.

Scranton Tibbs

1- if you were sleeping then what's it matter if it's on cable? You wouldn't have "seen nothing" because your eyes were closed.

2- if you don't live in the area then why are you so concerned?