‘It was miserable;’ Metro East residents relieved after shelter-in-place order lifted

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WOOD RIVER, Ill-Metro East residents are getting back to normal after authorities gave the all-clear Friday morning around 8:15 after the shelter in place warning was lifted.

Nearly 500 residents in Wood River were impacted.

Authorities initially put the warning into place because of a dangerous chemical that was leaking from multiple railroad cars. The incident started Wednesday afternoon when authorities said they responded to a call that one stationary rail car with spent sulfuric acid was over-pressurized and started venting.

Around 4:30 Thursday morning, authorities issued the shelter in place order. A little more than 24 hours later authorities were able to lift the warning.

“This has never happened. I lived here my whole life,” Chrissy Odell, the owner of King Louie’s Drive In said. “I’m happy that it’s over. I can’t afford to be closed right now.

She closed her business Thursday because authorities said she was in the red zone. She’s glad to reopen Friday and get back to normal.

“I’ve owned this for 22 years and I’ve never shut down because of a hazard. Never. It was weird,” she said.

Authorities had advised people to stay inside and not turn on their air conditioners.

“It’s horrifying. It was 85, 90 degrees in my house all day yesterday because we had no AC and we couldn’t open the windows to run fans or anything,” Linda Mielke, a Wood River resident said. “It was miserable.”

As the temperature continues to climb into the weekend, Wood River residents are happy the order is over, but are still a bit nervous.

“We don’t know for sure if it’s not still in the atmosphere and stuff, especially with my husband’s lung problems it’s nerve-wracking not knowing if he’s going to breathe in anything he shouldn’t be breathing,” Mielke said.

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