RAVENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) – For the first time in months since 22 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Ravenna Township, an NTSB investigator was on-site Wednesday.

The agency says it only found out about the derailment while reaching out to find anyone who might have video of the train that derailed in East Palestine on Feb. 3.

The NTSB investigator refused to be interviewed, but they confirmed to FOX 8 that Norfolk Southern had initially reported that only five cars derailed in the November crash and failed to report any damage to private property.

That would have prevented the incident from being flagged for an NTSB investigation.

On Wednesday, damaged rail cars and their parts remained at the site of the November derailment. Adjacent property owners reported damage to storage buildings, a boat and a septic tank on top of which a derailed car landed.

Liquid from the septic tank was leaking onto the ground and the property owner said he was under orders by the health department to make the $20,000 repair himself or face having his water shut off because of the health hazard.

“We’re just trying to get everything fixed back up to where it used to be,” said Butch McEwen.

McEwen and others seeking compensation for the damage caused by the November derailment also met with a representative of Norfolk Southern on Wednesday who was there to see the damage and write checks to help with the repairs.

Chuck Knight, who lives in a home at the derailment site owned by McEwen, said he made numerous calls to Norfolk Southern over the months hoping to get some help with the repairs. However, they only reached out to him soon after FOX 8 aired a story about their concerns on Monday.

“We would call, call, call, call. Mike Stankiewicz (president of the Portage County FOP Lodge 70) has indicated he sent several messages and text messages. I have too. He’s called several times and eventually it just goes to where the mail box would say it was full. That’s very irritating,” said Knight.

“I believe because it was advertised again or broadcast on TV, it lit a fire underneath the railroad,” said Knight.

Knight and others gave the representative of Norfolk Southern a tour of the site to show her the damage and say she was surprised by what she saw.

“This was actually to me a surprise to her. She had indicated that she believed the cleanup, or the reclamation work, had been done and when she went around and started snapping pictures, she started realizing the job is not complete yet,” said Jim Sullivan, a councilman in Hartville and member of the FOP Lodge.

In addition to long awaited checks, the railroad wrote on Wednesday to begin repairs to some of the private property damage.

Stankiewicz and others renewed property access agreements that would give Norfolk Southern permission to enter the area to complete the cleanup work that has been left unfinished for months.

While damage to the adjacent private property has been left unattended for five months, Knight said Norfolk Southern had the rails at the site repaired and reopened within 16 hours of the November derailment.

“It’s not finished,” said Stankiewicz, who says the parking lot at the FOP lodge needs to be completely repaved because of damage left by heavy equipment used to move derailed cars and repair the track.

 “This is just the beginning of getting things finished, the cleanup you know,” Stankiewicz said.