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Campers Flee Area of Oregon Train Derailment

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July 12, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

Map shows the location of Eagles Hot Lake RV Park south of La Grande in northeast Oregon.

Individuals from Eagles Hot Lake RV Park near La Grande, Ore., received an early morning wakeup call to evacuate the area following Wednesday’s (July 8) derailment of a Union Pacific Railroad train. Among those who received the early morning wake-up were Trina and Jim Benedict of Lincoln, Neb.

The Benedicts were awakened a little after 3 a.m. by a woman with the RV park knocking on one of their windows. The Benedicts, who are traveling with two dogs and a cat, were calmly told of the derailment and that they needed to leave, The Observer, La Grande, reported.

The Benedicts, who were spending their first night at the RV park, quickly pulled in their awning, unplugged their hookups at the park and drove to the Flying J Travel Plaza.

Trina Benedict estimated the park to be half full at the time of the evacuation and, she said, the evacuation proceeded smoothly.

“There was no panic at all,” she said.

Benedict said she was not startled when she heard someone knock on her window around 3 a.m.

“I’m a light sleeper and our dogs had been barking,” she said. “I thought something was going on.”

The Benedicts are traveling in a 37-foot RV, one they are not used to packing up in the dark and in emergency circumstances.

“We’ve never done this in a hurry before,” she said.

The Benedicts were told at 7:30 a.m. Thursday that they could return to the RV park. They had planned to stay another night but instead said they would begin their eastward trip home.

 

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