CRAMERTON, N.C. -- Nearly a dozen railroad cars have been lying on the ground, off the tracks for so long that grass is now growing up around them.
"A big mess," is what Karri Patel sees when she is sitting on her porch overlooking the Norfolk Southern tracks between 8th Avenue and Mayflower Street.
"It still reminds me of the nightmare of a train almost coming through your house. That is what I see," she said, wondering why the rail cars are still there, weeks after the August 6th derailment.
Patel and other residents on the street had to be evacuated when a total of 32 cars on a freight train derailed.
Some cars were carrying liquefied petroleum gas gas but emergency crews made sure the gas was emptied out safely.
The tracks have since been repaired but these cars are still there despite promises from the railroad that they would be removed by early September.
Cramerton Mayor Ronnie Worley said, "The cars have been laying there for some time now and we have had a concern about the cars and we've expressed that concern to Norfolk Southern.
The railroad blamed the delay on a contractor hired to remove the cars.
"The contractor has had to order the equipment necessary to commence the work," said Norfolk Southern spokesperson Robin Chapman.
The hope now, Chapman said, is for the job to begin next Thursday when crews will start cutting up the cars so they can be shipped off.
Cramerton's Mayor says the town has also submitted a bill of $8 thousand to the railroad to pay for police and firefighters who responded to the derailment.
He hopes it won't take as long to get reimbursed as it has to remove the cars.
Said the Mayor, "they realize the concern from the town that they could pose a hazard if someone were to get on the cars and maybe get hurt."
It is still not known what caused the cars to derail. That determination could still take several more months.