« Continuity of Operations Planning

Canadian train derails in Minnesota, spilling oil

On Wednesday, a derailed train caused traffic to be re-routed, as thousands of gallons of oil was spilled.
On Wednesday, a derailed train caused traffic to be re-routed, as thousands of gallons of oil was spilled.

Closed roadways and railways can have a huge effect on traffic. Towns can help ensure that residents and business owners remain satisfied with a comprehensive continuity of operations plan in place. That way, transportation efforts can continue around the shutdown of certain areas.

On Wednesday, a mile-long Canadian Pacific (CP) train hauling oil from Canada derailed and leaked 30,000 gallons of crude in western Minnesota.

CP Spokesman Ed Greenberg told Reuters on Wednesday that only one 26,000-gallon tank car had ruptured. It was a mixed freight train carrying crude and other materials.

"Once our crews were able to get closer to the rail cars that were involved in the incident, it was determined that only one had been formally compromised," Greenberg said. "We have options to reroute traffic, so we've been able to continue to move trains while we do the thorough job of cleaning up the area."

Cold weather also came into effect, as it made the crude thicker. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokesman Dan Olson explained to the news source that it hindered cleanup crews' ability to recover the spilled oil. Olson also said that three oil tankers had been affected.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that officials cut their estimate of the amount of oil spilled to less than 357 barrels, down from about 714, based on the amount of oil remaining in the three leaking tanker cars.

Continuity of operations planning can be especially beneficial in situations like this, as towns must ensure individuals' safety during recovery periods. Whether roadways need to be cleared or traffic must be altered for another reason, it can be helpful when businesses and residents understand their role and responsibilities.

Additionally, if a company is unable to access their main building, having a hot site can keep daily operations running smoothly until employees are able to return.