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City officials remain prepared and aware following Ohio train derailment

Council discusses emergency plan preparations
Posted at 4:59 PM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 17:59:12-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The train derailment and toxic spill in East Palestine, Ohio in early February prompted the city of Corpus Christi to review its response plan if a similar disaster were to happen in our area.

On Tuesday, interim fire chief Richie Quintero briefed city council on the findings of that review.

Since the derailment in Ohio, city manager Peter Zanoni and area first responders met twice with Union Pacific railroad officials.

"I've been here four years as city manager in the community and we haven't really talked much about the train systems, the train companies that operate in Nueces County, or what our protocols are," Zanoni said. "Fortunately, we have pretty strong protocols."

Quintero echoed a similar response during Tuesday's council meeting. He said the consensus of the meeting was that the city's response plan is strong.

Quintero wanted the community to know there is no need for concern.

"Fortunately, situations and events such as that are very low in occurrence," Quintero said. "They do not happen very often in that severity. However, when they do, they are of high consequence. They have both short and long-term consequences that affect populations, the environment, the economy."

The city also tweaks its emergency response through drills like the one held at the O.N. Stevens water treatment plant earlier this month.

Overall, city leaders want to let the public know that they want to be prepared and will continue to be prepared in case a disaster happens.

"This is a difficult subject to talk about," Zanoni said. "Hopefully this never happens in our community, but I feel comfortable and confident that we have a great first responding team. Not only with city departments, but also with our partners in the community and Texas. We have protocols in place, we know what's what and who's who. If something does happen, we'll know what to do."