The first priority at the derailment site was to contain and clean up the crude oil that spilled from at least one of the train's cars.
Within hours of the derailment, BNSF had brought in dozens of semitrailers loaded with equipment to clean up the spill, including containment booms, skimmers and vacuum trucks.
Williams said officials hoped to reach the cars Saturday. The river rose rapidly after 13 to 18 cm of rain fell in the days prior to the derailment.
Then an unrelated fire at an industrial site about a mile south of town took emergency crews away from the derailment.
Crude oil spills into Iowa river after freight train derailment
Rock Valley , Iowa, just southwest of the derailment, shut off its water wells within hours of the accident. The train's operator BNSF said 14 of the derailed cars had leaked oil, the Lyon County Daily News reported.
(Rock Valley) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) visited the flooded ares of northwest Iowa Saturday afternoon.
Omaha's public water utility Metropolitan Utilities District is monitoring pumps it uses to pull drinking water from the Missouri River.
A major part of the cleanup work includes building a temporary road parallel to the tracks to allow in cranes that can remove the derailed and partially-submerged oil cars.
Williams says he doesn't yet know how much oil has leaked and how many cars are leaking. The train was carrying crude from the oil sands of western Alberta to Stroud, Oklahoma.
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But news of the spill was enough to prompt officials in Rock Valley, a small city about 5 miles (8.05 kilometres) southwest of the derailment, to shut off all the city's drinking water wells.
The community of Rock Valley, Iowa has been especially hard hit, confronted by floodwaters, the train derailment and an unrelated fire in the course of 24 hours.
Beaudo also did not know whether the derailed oil cars were the safer, newer tankers meant to help prevent leaks in the event of an accident. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo says each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons. "We had a large supply in our water towers and we are using our interconnection with rock valley rural water to recharge our water supply".
The oil spilled into the swollen Little Rock River in Lyon County when 32 oil tanker cars derailed Friday.
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Beaudo also did not know whether the derailed oil cars were the safer, newer tankers meant to help prevent leaks in the event of an accident.