2 months have passed since Mayflower oil spill | News
MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KTHV) - Two months after the Mayflower Oil Spill, homes remain empty, and crews continue to work and clean up. The effects from the oil spill is far from over.
Wednesday marks 60 days since thousands of gallons of crude oil barreled down the streets of a Mayflower subdivision. People were forced to leave their homes two months ago and are still living in hotels, apartments or rental houses. Many of them are their those homes up for sale, and though Exxon said most of the immediate work is finished, some Mayflower residents are not so sure.
"They told us the air quality was fine. We shouldn't have anything to worry about," said Genieve Long who lives near Lake Conway.
She, along with dozens of concerned residents, said the effects on their family are still there.
"I won't let them fish. I won't let them play in the mud. I won't let them play in the dirt just because it absorbs, and as long as it's absorbing into the ground, who knows where it's going to stop?" said Long.
"A lot more needs to be done," said Scott Smith, founder and CEO of Orflex Solutions.
Smith said he and his team have taken several samples from the Mayflower area since the clean up began. All of them, he said, show high counts of contamination.
"We've been able to fingerprint that oil, tar sands oil, and related chemicals with what we are finding in the main body of the lake," said Smith.
"We will be here until the job is finished. It's very important that we stay here and get it right for this community," explained Exxon Mobile spokesperson Mark Weesner.
Weesner said the company continues to test for contamination along with the health department, the ADEQ and EPA. So far, all of those tests have shown good results.
"The results of all those tests have been good. We continue to show good air results, and we continue to show that oil has remained out of the main body of Lake Conway," added Weesner.
No matter what the tests say, Long said she knows what the oil has done to her family and community and fears it will never be the same again.
"Please help us. Help. Don't hurt us. Help us," pleaded Long.
Exxon said they are now moving from a response phase into a remedial phase where they will continue to work with the state and test for contamination, but most of the immediate work is finished. They have replaced the broken pipeline, and this week are working to pour new driveways and curbs and replace as much concrete along the affected street as possible.
What caused the spill to happen in the first place is still under investigation.
To view the ADEQ test results, click here.
For more on the Mayflower oil spill, check out our special section with the latest new and video.