LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Roger Jacobs left behind a warm bed, clean clothes and his dog Zoey when a chemical fire from a derailed tanker car forced him from his apartment.
On Friday, the 50-year-old West Point man was still wearing the same clothes he left with three days ago. He wondered if Zoey, a Labrador-mix, had enough water, though his father has been able to make brief daily visits to check on her.
"It's just frustrating," said Jacobs, who joined dozens of others at an outreach center set up by the railroad to help reimburse evacuees for expenses. "I'm worried about my dog. You like sleeping in your own bed at night. I'm tired of sleeping on a couch."
Hundreds received little notice before they had to evacuate Wednesday, including the entire town of West Point, when a chemical fire broke out at the site of the derailment. On Friday, officials said the evacuation order will stay indefinitely as a massive effort continued to move derailed train cars filled with hazardous materials away from another car, from which the chemical butadiene continued to burn for a third day.
Emergency shelters are open, but many are staying with family and friends or in motels. Paducah & Louisville Railway, which was operating the train, is offering evacuees reimbursement for lodging, food, lost wages and other expenses.
Another evacuee at the center Friday was West Point reside