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Cleanup done, tracks reopen, but Feds still working on cause for derailment near De Soto



Highway 35 in Crawford County could be completely open again by Friday, as the DeSoto area returns to normal after last week’s train derailment.

Trains have been using the BNSF rail line again since last weekend.

Jim Hackett, who runs the emergency management office for the county, said during what they called a final Q&A with media on the derailment, that officials found a way to retrieve two train cars that went floating down the Mississippi River after the crash on April 27.

“They’d pass under the 82 bridge” at Lansing, Iowa, Hackett said. “Luckily, they got hung up on some island debris, and we were able to attach large ropes to shore, to make sure that they didn’t go any further.”

Hackett added that federal inspectors may need at least another month to figure out what caused the train accident. He says the quick response by local officials was very good.

“The initial community response was nothing short of amazing,” Hackett said. “We only requested one state resource at the original time. Everything else was local.”

The one state agency called in was the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Richard

    May 4, 2023 at 7:49 am

    Democrat domestic terrorists hummmm

    • Cindy Weisenstein

      May 5, 2023 at 8:44 am

      It was the flood waters breaking down the the mounds of rock and dirt under the tracks and made rails collapse as the train went over them. Simple as that.

  2. Cindy Weisenstein

    May 5, 2023 at 8:49 am

    The floor caused the derailment. not rocket science.

  3. Dave Hinson

    May 26, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Thank you for sharing the update on the cleanup efforts at the DeSoto derailment site and the current status of Highway 35. It is important to keep the community informed about such incidents and their subsequent cleanup activities.

    I’m glad to hear that the cleanup at the derailment site has been completed. The prompt and efficient response of the authorities and cleanup crews is commendable, as it helps to mitigate potential environmental hazards and ensures the safety of the surrounding areas.

    Although the cleanup is finished, I understand that the temporary closure of Highway 35 may cause inconvenience for commuters. However, prioritizing the safety of the public is paramount, and it is crucial to take the necessary precautions to assess and address any potential risks associated with the site.

    I appreciate the efforts made by the authorities and the cleanup crews to swiftly restore normalcy and reopen the highway as soon as possible. I’m sure the community understands the importance of ensuring the thoroughness of the cleanup and the need for caution in reopening the road.

    Please continue to keep us updated on any further developments regarding the reopening of Highway 35. Your coverage plays a crucial role in keeping the community informed and engaged.

    Thank you for your diligent reporting on this matter.

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