Increasing train traffic becoming concern in Mt. Vernon - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Increasing train traffic becoming concern in Mt. Vernon

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Could increasing train traffic in Posey County block first responders in the case of an emergency? 

County officials say there are no issues with response times now, but that could change. Emergency response concerns were brought up during the final meetings for the new fertilizer plant.

Neighbors say more trains could keep first responders on the wrong side of the tracks when they're needed most. 

"I think it's going to be an issue that's going to be addressed. I think we have to address that issue," Posey County Sheriff Greg Oeth said.

A rail yard is part of the plans for the new Midwest Fertilizer plant set for a plot of land on the city's west side.

Some say possibly creating more potential roadblocks for emergency responders.

"Sometimes the train moves really slow. It will back up. It will go forward seems like a couple times. Yeah, I can see where it could be an issue," said Gary Schmitt, who works in Mt. Vernon. 

Oeth says his office and the county's dispatch have not experienced a situation yet where a stopped or slow train kept them from properly responding to an emergency. He hopes future preparations will keep it that way.

"It's a new beginning. It's going to be a new challenge for us. I think we'll get through this," Oeth said. 

Under Indiana code, it is against the law for a train to block an intersection for more than 10 minutes. Some in Mt. Vernon say they've waited that long or longer.

Our attempts to contact the county's EMS department director on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

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