Mayflower residents speak out after oil spill

10:30 AM, Mar 31, 2013   |    comments
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Mayflower, Ark. (KTHV) - Authorities in Mayflower allowed residents Saturday to enter their homes only to gather needed items after an oil spill which happened on Friday.

"The last 24 hours have been really trying," said Ryan Senia, a Mayflower resident ordered to evacuate.

Authorities said as many as 40 homes had to be evacuated Friday afternoon.

"Well we could see oil running down the road like a river," said Joe Bradley, a Mayflower resident ordered to evacuate.

Bradley said he was unaware of the pipeline and only lives four to five homes down from the rupture.  He said he is fearful of the effects on his 8-year-old daughter.

"Is she supposed to ride her bicycle out here playing with kids out here, " said Bradley.

Crews began clean-up on Saturday after an Exxon crude-oil pipeline ruptured.

"I was actually thinking of selling my home to get a home with a dedicated shop," said Senia.

Senia said he enjoys working on his car at home and bought the home because of the garage.  He said he has now taken the home off the market after news of the spill.

"Now I'm just really worried about my resale value," said Senia.

Senia said he fears due to recent rainfall the oil could make it to Lake Conway, a source of drinking water.

Exxon Mobile Pipeline officials along with state, city and county officials held a meeting Saturday with affected residents.  Officials assured residents that no oil reached Lake Conway.

"If you have been harm by this spill then we're going to look at how to make that right," said Gary Pruessing with Exxon Mobile Pipeline.

Pruessing said affected residents can submit claims for losses.

"It's frustrating that I pay a mortgage and I can't stay in the home, but I can't get an answer.  I've heard three contradictory answers as to when I will be able to go back home," said Mayflower Resident Darren Hale.

Hale said he was first given a timeline of two days, but later was told two weeks.  He was told Saturday by a lawmaker that it is unknown when residents will be allowed back into their homes.

For unresolved issues contact Representative Douglas House at (501) 590-1055 or Senator David J. Sanders at (501) 682-6107.

A representative with Exxon Mobile Pipeline can be reached at(800) 876-9291.

For updates follow Daniel on Twitter @dan_wilkerson.

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