Many residents unsure about taking Norfolk Southern reimbursements

Many residents unsure about taking Norfolk Southern reimbursements

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The day after a train derailed outside Bartow, GA, spilling hazardous chemicals, Norfolk Southern is wanting to pay for inconvenience and out of pocket expenses, asking residents to bring proof of residence and receipts for expenses.

“I rented two hotel rooms for my family and my daughters family." Lora Raines is one of dozens of people waiting more than 9 hours outside the EMA for reimbursement. While she is able to get her money, she worries about people who can’t wait all day. “My in-laws are not mobile. My mother-in-law is very ill and house bound and so I’m wondering what will be done if anything for those sorts of people.”

Norfolk Southern says those who are not able to make it out can call its Family Assistance Center and someone will go out to their home.

As people waited, heated conversations took place. Many, like Latrsha Jordan, were unhappy with the reimbursement, calling it hush money. “A couple of people are out here saying they are not going to accept the money they are going to try and get lawsuits. I can see why other people would think it might be hush money or something like that but I’m just glad they giving something."

As people left with their checks some shared how much they were getting paid and noticed a big difference.

“Bartow and Wadley is 4 miles apart. They are giving Bartow people $200 a piece and Waldley residents only receive $100. I feel that is very wrong."

According to Norfolk Southern spokesperson John Fletcher, those miles matter. “Ya know its within proximity of the evacuation zone some where evacuated longer than others and that effects payment."

Due to the number of people, Norfolk Southern extended the deadline to Friday. Now, evacuees have more time to get their compensation.

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