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Ohio train derailment: Columbiana County Sheriff announces road closures, warns of arrests amid evacuation order in East Palestine

'We will be enforcing the evacuation zone,' the Columbiana County Sheriff said on Facebook. 'Please, for your own safety, remove your families from danger.'

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — As an evacuation order has been issued for those living within a one-mile radius of the train derailment zone in East Palestine, the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office has now outlined a list of road closures “where law enforcement will be present to ensure the area remains safe.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is giving an update on the situation, which we are streaming live in the video at the top of this story.

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These road closures are listed as follows:

  • State Line Road and state Route 14
  • State Route 14 and Howell Road
  • Stacey Road and state Route 165
  • State Route 165 and state Route 14
  • State Route 14 and Brookdale
  • North Walnut Street and Highland Avenue
  • North Walnut Street and West Grant Street
  • East Street and West Grant Street
  • West North Avenue and East Street
  • West Martin Street and East Street
  • West Clark Street and North Walnut Street
  • West Taggart Street and North Walnut Street
  • Rebecca Street and North Walnut Street
  • Main Street and North Market Street
  • Wood Street and North Market Street
  • Garfield Avenue and North Market Street
  • Parker Road and South Pleasant Drive
  • East Taggart Street and the Pennsylvania state line
  • South Pleasant Drive at the Pennsylvania state line
Posted by Columbiana County Sheriff's Office on Monday, February 6, 2023

These road closures come after the sheriff also warned those who ignore the evacuation order “may be arrested.”

“Misconduct in an emergency, which is a fourth degree misdemeanor if only adults are in the household, and a first degree misdemeanor if children are in the household,” according to a statement on the sheriff’s Facebook page. “Further charges of endangering children will apply also. There is a high probability of a toxic gas release and or explosion. Again, we will be enforcing the evacuation zone. Please, for your own safety, remove your families from danger. Thank You for your cooperation in this difficult situation.”

The 1 mile evacuation zone in East Palestine is in effect and will be enforced. You may be arrested for 2917.13...

Posted by Columbiana County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, February 5, 2023

Officials have also announced the Family Assistance Center has moved "to provide easier access for members of the community due to road closures." The new location is now the Abundant Life Fellowship Church at 46469 OH-46 in New Waterford.

The evacuation order was announced around 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the following statement from Gov. DeWine's office:

Following an evening briefing regarding the train derailment in East Palestine, Governor DeWine and Columbiana County officials are issuing an urgent warning to those living within a mile of the derailment. Within the last two hours, a drastic temperature change has taken place in a rail car, and there is now the potential of a catastrophic tanker failure which could cause an explosion with the potential of deadly shrapnel traveling up to a mile.

Although teams are working to prevent an explosion from happening, residents living within a mile of the site are advised to immediately leave the area. While most individuals in the one-mile radius have already evacuated, local officials say that more than 500 people have declined to leave their homes.

Those who have the means to leave are advised to immediately evacuate. Those who need help evacuating the area should call 330-426-4341. According to the Columbiana County Sheriff, those with children in their homes who decline to evacuate may be subject to arrest.

At approximately 8 p.m., Governor DeWine activated the Ohio National Guard to deploy to the scene to assist local authorities. The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, and Ohio EPA are also assisting.

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