Dark clouds of thick, black smoke belted with flames soared into the sky above downtown Lynchburg, Va., Wednesday afternoon as authorities evacuated several buildings in the area, The Associated Press reported.
We are asking that everyone avoid the downtown area of Lynchburg, VA until further notice. pic.twitter.com/Wv6pmOykhI— City of Lynchburg (@lynchburggov) April 30, 2014
"Lynchburg officials are reporting that between 12 and 14 CSX tanker cars carrying crude oil were involved in the train derailment in downtown Lynchburg causing extensive flames and dense black smoke," city officials reported.
The train was traveling from Chicago to Virginia when the derailment occurred, CSX said in a news release. Three rail cars were on fire but have since been extinguished.
At around 2 p.m. when the incident occurred, dense fog hovered throughout the area, which reduced visibility to under a mile, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Carl Erickson said.
Update Train Derailment: Tanker cars carrying crude oil, 3-4 tanker cars breached, 13-14 tanker cars involved.— City of Lynchburg (@lynchburggov) April 30, 2014
There have been no injuries reported at this time, according to the city's news release.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes in the evacuated area of Commerce and Jefferson streets, the city said.
TRAIN DERAILMENT UPDATE: There is NO IMPACT on City drinking water due to spillage of crude oil in James River.— City of Lynchburg (@lynchburggov) April 30, 2014
The fire was reported along the James River. No contamination of drinking water due to the oil spill has been reported.
Storms came into the region during the evening hours.
"The heavy rainfall is over with. However, there can still be spotty showers and a thunderstorm today, with any additional rain adding to flooding problems," said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Dan Depodwin.
According to Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., another train derailment occurred in the area overnight. This one was carrying coal and went off track around 3 a.m. EDT in Bowie, Md.
No injuries have been reported from the second derailment. The cause is still under investigation.
Firefighters and rescue workers work along the tracks where several CSX tanker cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire along the James River near downtown in Lynchburg, Va., Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Nearby buildings were evacuated for a time, but officials said there were no injuries and the city on its website and Twitter said firefighters on the scene made the decision to let the fire burn out. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Tropical Depression Two has formed in the Atlantic and could become the next tropical storm of the season by midweek.
Warm and humid air in place over much of the Midwest and Northeast at midweek will contribute to the risk of drenching, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
Severe storms will fire up Tuesday afternoon and evening, threatening outdoor activities and travel for many.
Powerful winds, heavy rainfall and dangerous mudslides will threaten Taiwan on Wednesday as Matmo moves across the island.
Eagle Pass, TX (1992)
9.08" of rain.
Minneapolis, MN (1997)
2.69" of rain - a record for the date and the 3rd record broken that month.
Atlantic Ocean (1498)
Christopher Columbus' third voyage. After leaving the Cape Verde Islands, the 4 ships drifted WSW in the equatorial current. "The wind stopped so suddenly and unexpectedly and the supervening heat was so excessive and immoderate that there was no one who dared go below after the casks of wine and water which burst, snapping the hoops of the pipes; the wheat burned like fire; the bacon and salted meat roasted and petrified."