Frustration among Paulsboro residents affected by their prolonged evacuation from their homes reached fever pitch this evening at a raucous town hall meeting.
Many residents said they were left even more skeptical of the cleanup effort that has following Friday's freight train derailment that spewed hazardous vinyl chloride into the air.
The meeting served as a microcosm of what residents called a near weeklong lack of communication between officials leading the evacuation and cleanup efforts.
As the borough mayor and officials from the Coast Guard and state Department of Environmental Protection tried to address a packed auditorium at Nehaunsey Middle School, in Gibbstown, their microphones stopped working, and residents barked out questions and rebuttals.
At one point, a DEP official said there was "virtually no trace" of vinyl chloride in the water. Tony Bennett, a displaced Paulsboro resident, shouted back: "It's worse than what he's saying!" drawing applause from the 300 residents packed inside the auditorium.