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Love Grove community reacts to train derailment that left them stranded

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Crews are finally clearing out of the Love Grove neighborhood after a train derailed, leaving an entire neighborhood trapped.

Those who live in the Love Grove Community woke up to a strange sight this morning.

But they had no idea the rumbling noise they heard would turn into such a massive ordeal.

“I was in my bedroom, and I knew it was thundering and lightening very hard, but this sound didn't sound like thunder to me,” Evanglin Pittman said. “And I got up out my bed and said, 'What the heck was that?'"

Pittman said she had errands she needed to run, but when she stepped outside and saw the wreckage, her plans came to an abrupt end.

“Stranded all day, yeah,” she said. “There's only one way out.”

With the only exit blocked by the derailed train, residents had no way to leave for hours.

“People had to go to work,” she said. “Some of them did go to work, some of them walked, but some of them had to stay home because they had no way to get there."

Wilson Thigpen was evacuated from his home, and forced to move down the street. But with no way to escape the elements, residents were left to fend for themselves.

“Hot as it was, no air conditioning down there,” said Wilson Thigpen, who has lived in the Love Grove neighborhood many years. “I can't sit in my car and run it that whole time. So, finally my daughter called me, and told me she was on the other side, and she came by and picked me up."

But others in the neighborhood were not as fortunate.

“One lady said she missed her flight, and one had to go to Georgia because she had a death in the family, and she had to wait a while before she could get over the tracks,” Pittman added.

The derailed trains are now back on track, the road is once again open, and crews have cleared from the Love Grove neighborhood.

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