MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The number is staggering. More than 326,000 Minnesotans — most of them in the Twin Cities area — live within what is considered an evacuation zone in the event of a major oil train disaster. So, is the state doing enough to make sure local communities are protected?
WCCO’s Laura Oakes has the next in our five-part series, Tracking Danger: Minnesota’s Crude Reality.
Kevin Reed, Operations Director with the state’s Emergency Management Division, is charged with ensuring the safety of local communities.
Reed and his staff conduct training sessions with fire departments around the state to make sure they’re prepared in the event of a major derailment.
“What equipment do you have so we can make a plan?” Reed said. “Who’s going to be a mutual aid partner? Where are additional assets coming from? We need to make sure these departments are prepared, so they can start to plan for the ‘What ifs.'”