Massive Response To Decatur Threat Comes With Lots of Practice

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — Emergency crews raced to organize possible mass evacuations during a potentially very serious situation when a suspicious package was found on a railcar near the Daikin plant in Decatur.

The package turned out to be marijuana, but the situation highlighted just how dangerous the chemicals that are transported through city limits could be if a worst case scenario would occur.

Emergency management officials say they can’t have a plan for every possible scenario but they do prepare as much as possible for every possible disaster, Thursday’s scare gave them a reason to put that training to work.

The situation shut down several schools in Decatur, Morgan, Limestone and Lawrence counties, and traffic on Highway 20 was also affected as law enforcement teams investigated the situation.

Decatur Mayor Don Kyle says he is proud of how quickly his team of EMA and other city and county employees sprang into gear to take control of the situation.

“This is why we prepare, we love having all the plants and the jobs they provide our city but it can be a double-edged sword because they do deal with some very dangerous chemicals,” Kyle said.