Last of Lawtell evacuees return home - KLFY News 10

Last of Lawtell evacuees return home

Posted: Updated:

Finally, the last of the Lawtell residents under an evacuation order were allowed to return home Thursday. For the past week, nearly 20 percent of the town's population had to evacuate after a chemical spill from a train derailment last Sunday. Highway 190 is now open, but there's still a lot of clean up going on in the area.

"Oh god, it feels good. I was happy at my daughter's but it's good to be back home," said Pearl Taylor, a Lawtell resident.

 It's been a long week for Taylor, but now that the evacuation order is lifted, she can breathe a sigh of relief.  And after officials checked her home's air quality, she can also breathe easy, too.

Taylor was asked if she feels safer. She said, "Oh yes, to know that they checked everything and all that."

The Department of Environmental Quality says all the homes they've tested have come back normal. So, what exactly are their devices detecting? We asked them to explain.

"We're checking for oxygen to make sure levels are appropriate and we're also looking for VOC's, which are volatile organic compounds," said Bryan Riche, the DEQ's supervisor of emergency response.

 While homes have checked out okay, the clean up along highway 190 is far from over. 18-wheelers lined the highway's shoulder carrying damaged train cars and crews are still cleaning up the tracks. And because of the activity along the highway, officials urge drivers to be especially aware of the speed limit. It will be strictly enforced.

And just across the street, Ann Richard is watching it all happen from her front yard. But while she's thankful to see an end in sight, she does admit her evacuation accommodations felt like a mini-vacation.

"I had a very nice suite," said Richard. "They were very kind and polite to us. But, it's super, super good to be back home. But thank god everything went well. It could have been much worse."

Powered by WorldNow

1808 Eraste Landry Rd, PO Box 90665,
Lafayette LA 70509

Telephone: 337.981.4823
Fax: 337.984.8323

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Louisiana, Inc. A Media General Company.