“We had a kickoff meeting in Raleigh close to a month ago to finally try to get that project underway,” Love said. “I had received confirmation that CSX would participate, but they did not attend the meeting in Raleigh.”
Phelps, the CSX spokeswoman, said she was unaware of any threats to sue.
"I know there are some claims out there that we were adversarial, that we threatened litigation," she said. "We don’t know of any threats to them. I don’t know who made those threats."
She also said company representatives didn't attend the meeting because the city had not provided a clear plan.
"The public projects team expressed that we would need to see formal proposals and plans to respond or comment on it. They [officials in Lumberton] were still in early planning stages. When we didn’t get any project plans or developments in front of us, we didn’t attend any meetings because we had nothing to contribute to the conversation yet," Phelps said.
As for her claim that the company kept the rail line open because it was bringing in equipment for the National Guard, Lt. Col. Matthew Devivo, of the North Carolina National Guard, said: "We have no knowledge of anything going by rail. We put no plan in place to keep the rail line open."
According to the CSX spokeswoman, the rail line wasn’t closed until the last moment, but the North Carolina Department of Transportation said their records show that CSX officially closed its line on Thursday, a full day before the governor issued an order to build the temporary berm and volunteers were forced to work in hazardous conditions.
Cooper told NBC News he planned to work with CSX to find a permanent solution. "There was money appropriated for it, and I think it should be a priority to make sure the community is protected," he said. “We’re going to be talking to them immediately about temporary structures, and now we need to work with the local community to make sure we have a plan in place that will work.”