Evacuated Paulsboro residents bide time at hotel

December 1, 2012 9:23:14 PM PST
The dozens of people who were evacuated from their homes near the site of Friday's train derailment and chemical leak in Paulsboro, New Jersey are waiting for word they can go home.


The residents were told to leave as a precautionary measure since some of the cars involved still contain hazardous chemicals.

Tense, tired and out of their elements, the evacuees checked into the nearby Motel 6 on Swedesboro Road in Gibbstown.

"It's not what you'd call home, but it works," said Stephen Colenaro as he settled into his second floor room.

He was told to be prepared to stay through Tuesday. He's thankful Conrail, owners of the train, are footing the bill.

"They're paying all meals, save your receipts, they'll reimburse you," he said. "They've gone out of their way to take care of everybody the best they can."

Colenaro packed the bare minimum, while other evacuees packed a little more - including their pets. We met Hercules, A-Rob and Diamond, who were welcome at the pet-friendly hotel, but it took some getting used to.

"Very stressful," said Lisa Driver. "They haven't known what was going on."

Lisa is rooming near her next door neighbors. They've been biding their time by playing cards and caring for their pets, but she said the evacuation order has been chaotic and frustrating.

"We were getting information in bits and pieces with being displaced it's hard to get info, we're not at home in from of the TV. It's a bit stressful," she said.

Any residents with questions can call the Paulsboro Community Hotline at 1-800-230-7049