EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — It's now been more than two weeks since a train derailed in East Palestine, which led officials to do a "controlled release" of toxic chemicals.

Many residents are still concerned about their health, and on Tuesday, the state will open a health clinic in the area.

What You Need To Know

  • Many residents in East Palestine are still concerned about their health, following this month's derailment

  • A state clinic will open Tuesday at the local Church of Christ

  • The senior minister said they are doing what a church is called to do and hoping people can get answers

Much of the rubble still remains at the site of the derailment, which occurred on Feb. 3.

Robert Helbeck is the senior minister at the Church of Christ, a place of worship that is being transformed into a medical facility this week, looking to check out people experiencing sore throats, rashes and nausea.

"They're using two rooms here," he said. "They have a mobile unit outside. They will be here 8 (a.m.) to 8 (p.m.) Monday through Saturday."

Helbeck said they are doing what a church is called to do and hoping those who come through their doors can get some answers about their symptoms and whether they're related to the disaster that occurred here.

"Well, we're just doing everything we can," he said. "If anybody has a need, they're welcome to come in."

His community continues to help, all while dealing with the crisis and stream of media, politicians and government agencies coming to town.

"It's been hectic," Mandy Hamerick, the youth leader for the church, said. "We're trying to live a normal life, like outside of East Palestine. Everyone continues about their daily routine. My daughter still had a basketball game, so try to keep it normal for the kids. But all in all, it's in everyone's mind. That's all you hear, is about the derailment."

Hamerick said she is used to guiding conversations with children, but she said fear about this situation is creating challenges.

"It's difficult," she said. "I mean, my older ones, they get it. They see the news. They have cell phones. They know what's going on. People are talking about it at school. And, of course, they were off for the whole week. But it's everything that they're hearing, and we're trying to keep it normal, but it's 'should we move out of town? Should we stay?'"

Many residents continue to ask these sort of questions with much uncertainty. With the incoming clinic, however, they may soon at least have some answers about their own personal health.

"My neighbor definitely was thinking about buying places up in Salem," Hamerick said. "You know, try to stay close to the community, but at a safe distance."