UPDATE

The St. Joseph – Stanton Fire Protection District said the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has identified the chemical as a food-grade dextrose syrup. IEPA will be following up with the Illinois Department of Transportation for continued cleanup.


ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (WCIA) — People in St. Joseph were left with questions after an overnight chemical spill on the side of the exit of I-74 that leads into town.

We reached out to several organizations to find out what the substance was. The only answer we got was that the Illinois Environment Protection Agency was testing it to get to the bottom of what it is.

Debbie Kuchenbrod said she is frustrated after her yard was left in ruin when crews came in overnight Tuesday and cleaned up the mysterious substance. Now, she is left trying to put the pieces together by herself.

“I came home from vacation on Tuesday evening and I had a knock on my door. And when I came out to see who it was, it was the mayor,” Kuchenbrod said.

St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges greeted Kuchenbrod with some bad news.

“She wanted to let me know about some kind of spill,” Kuchenbrod said. “She didn’t know what kind it was and that there was going to be someone coming through Tuesday night to clean up the mess.”

When Kuchenbrod walked outside the next morning, her yard was in disrepair.

“I woke up and had this beautiful backyard in the morning. Not.” Kuchenbrid said. “So I came out and took pictures and noticed that there is still this white stuff in my back yard.”

She isn’t the only one dealing with the issue. Other people have started to speak up.

“There was a lady on the St. Joe Facebook page that said she saw the truck when she came home that night because she ended up getting some of it on her car,” Kuchenbrod said.

At this point, they have more questions than answers.

“Another gentleman from the St. Joe area says he has some on his car as well,” Kuchenbrod said. “He was saying it was about 11:15 pm on Sunday. Another lady says she has it on her car but she was thinking it was closer to midnight on Monday night.”

Kuchenbrod said she needs all the help she can get from the community to help solve the problem.

“If anybody has seen this truck or knows what kind of truck it is, please, please get a hold of IDOT or EPA because they can’t do anything to fix my yard until it’s all done,” Kuchenbrod said.

Now she has to wait while crews finish up work and look for answers to what happened in her backyard.