CRAMERTON, N.C. -- Norfolk Southern said it could be the end of the week before a derailment in Cramerton is cleaned and repaired.
Monday’s derailment tossed 31 cars off the tracks near Eighth Avenue, but nobody was injured.
For now, there’s no cause. Norfolk Southern said it could be weeks before their investigation reveals what happened. Neighbors speculate something shifted in one of the cars and the weight transfer caused the cars to tumble off the tracks.
Crews are removing the rail cars and installing about 150 yards of new track.
Norfolk Southern opened a help center at Cramerton Town Hall. Officials initially said three families sought assistance for expenses related to the derailment, including food, lodging and lost wages.
Alanna McCall said she was not initially reimbursed because she forgot her receipts but plans to go back.
"We don't have our receipts with us. We were in such a hurry yesterday and just the shock of it all that I wasn't worried about keeping receipts. I was worried about going down here and feeding the kids and stuff like that,” McCall said.
The derailment prompted a mandatory evacuation because four tankers were carrying liquefied petroleum. None of those tanks leaked and neighbors were allowed to return to their homes Monday night.
McCall hoped the cleanup would end Tuesday. She said her family hasn’t gotten any sleep due to the derailment and repair work, with all the noise and lights right outside her front door.
The cleanup has turned into a spectator sport. Dozens of people visited the scene Tuesday to look and take pictures.
“It’s something to see,” said neighbor Shirley Shoemaker. “You know what they say, curiosity killed the cat.”