UPDATE (8:00 PM) Roanoke County Police are reporting that residents of Jae Valley Road are now being allowed back home tonight.
The Police department also advises that Jae Valley Road will be closed to through traffic for at least the next three hours as crews work to recover the wrecked tractor trailer and mitigate leakage of embalming fluid into the environment.
Recovery efforts may also be delayed by severe weather forecast for this evening. In the case of severe weather at the accident scene, Jae Valley Road will remain closed until recovery efforts are complete, possibly into the day on Thursday, June 12. At this time there is no timeframe available for the removal of the trailer and mitigation of the spill, due to the possibility of severe weather overnight.
Update (5:00 pm.) Evacuations Remain in Place for Residents off of Jae Valley Road Near Tanker Accident
Evacuations of nearly 20 homes in the area of a tanker crash filled leaking embalming fluid will remain in place at least through the evening while crews continue to work on recovering the tanker and mitigating the fluid spill. The evacuations are for residents who live along the roadway between the 4200 block of Jae Valley Road down to Sun Valley Drive, and including any homes on side streets off of Jae Valley Road within this same stretch of roadway.
Roanoke County officials, along with officials from VDEM, the Roanoke Valley HazMat Team, and W.E.L. Inc are now working on a plan to off-load the remaining fluid from the crashed tanker onto a tanker that has been brought in. At that point, the wrecker will be able to recover the wrecked tanker in a more safe manner with less run off. At that point crews will work to contain, clean-up and mitigate the fluid that spilled.
Once the wrecker and tankers have left the scene, officers believe they will be able to allow residents only to return to their homes, however the same section of the road will remain closed to thru traffic until the spill site has been cleaned up, which will likely be tomorrow.
Update (11:00 AM) - Haz Mat Crews on Scene of Tanker Wreck, Police Evacuate Homes
(June 11, 2014 - 11:00 AM) Earlier this morning, a tanker flipped over an embankment in one of the curves on Jae Valley Road. The tanker contained 8000 gallons of embalming fluid and is believed to be leaking.
The 4200 block of Jae Valley Road is currently closed in both directions.
Fire and Rescue crews from the Vinton, Mount Pleasant, and Cave Spring stations are on scene, as well as a Virginia Department of Emergency Management-Haz Mat crew and the Roanoke Valley Haz Mat Team.
The Police Department is on scene and is evacuating the area from the crash site in the 4200 block of Jae Valley Road up to Sun Valley Road. The Roanoke County Police Department has knocked on the doors of nearly twenty homes in the area of the crash site (from 4200 Jae Valley Raod down to Sun Valley Road) asking them to evacuate their homes.
Officers have told evacuees that they may come to the Mount Pleasant Elementary School at 3216 Mount Pleasant Boulevard as an evacuation site if needed. Police personnel will be at the school to provide shelter for the evacuees if needed.
The driver of the overturned tanker was able to climb out of the tractor and has been transported to a local hospital with what is believed to be non-life threatening injuries.
Both lanes of Route 116 in Roanoke County are closed due to a tractor-trailer crash. Route 116 is completely closed starting about 1.5 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Drivers should avoid the area and seek alternate routes.
No estimated time for reopening Route 116 has been established.
For updates on this incident, visit www.511Virginia.org