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(Saturday, February 16, 2002 , 7:30 a.m.) Halifax Regional Fire Services have advised that the evacuation site around the Windmill Road area in Dartmouth has been reopened, as of 7:30 a.m. this morning, and that all residents are allowed to return to their homes.
The Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission has reopened the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge and all Metro Transit buses have resumed their regular routing. Nova Scotia Power is in the process of restoring power to the evacuation area and is expected to be completed almost immediately.
Orders for the evacuation were issued last night to approximately 300 residents who live in the Windmill Road area, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The evacuation was carried out as a precautionary measure, as the result of the derailment of several rail cars under the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge late yesterday morning. One of the derailed cars contained propane gas which was required to be pumped out overnight, with HRM Fire Services, CN Rail, Transport Canada, and other agencies on site.
The evacuation process proceeded relatively smoothly with most residents finding alternate overnight accommodations. Metro Transit buses, Access-A-Bus, and EHS Ambulance Services provided alternate transportation in the evacuation area for any residents who required it. HRM Police and Fire Services and other emergency personnel assisted at the Evacuation scene and the HRM Customer Call Centre remained open all night to provide information to residents with inquiries.
The Red Cross operated a temporary Reception Centre at Findlay Recreation Centre on Elliot Street in Dartmouth to accommodate evacuees. It reported about 30 people had used the facility by approximately 10 p.m. last evening, with only eight people required to use the centre for overnight accommodations.
HRM Fire Services have now left the evacuation site, and the HRM Emergency Operations Centre anticipates shutting down by approximately 9:30 a.m. this morning. CN Rail and Transport Canada officials will remain on the derailment site to continue the accident investigation.
Any residents with questions pertaining to their return home or the evacuation in general, may call the HRM Customer Call Centre at 490-4000.
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Contact: Lori Patterson
Acting HRM Public Information Officer