MAYFLOWER (KATV) - Crews worked through the night to clean up an oil spill after more than 40 residents spent a third night outside of their homes.
Crews have been working around the clock since Friday scrubbing the streets and driveways of the Northwood subdivision, which is where the pipe burst, spilling more than 12,000 barrels of oil. That's about 500,000 gallons.
Officials with Exxon Mobil, the company that owns the pipeline that burst, said they do not know what caused the rupture or how long the cleanup will take. They did announce in a press release Monday afternoon that an excavation and removal plan was being developed by the US Department of Transportation. They also set up a claims and information hotline for residents. That number is (1-800) 876-9291.
"First of all, we are very sorry that this has happened," said spokesperson Allen Jeffers. "This should not happen so it is our responsibility to make it right and that's what we're doing. We're paying out claims that come forward from the pipeline. We're paying the costs of the cleanup and no taxpayer money goes into this cleanup."
That cleanup process is fairly intensive. Ten oiled ducks were recovered for treatment at the Hawk Center in Russellville for rehabilitation. Two more were found dead. Fifteen vacuum trucks and 33 storage tanks were deployed to help clean up and temporarily store the oil. Crews used steam cleaners and pressure washers to get the oil off of homeowners' property.
Much of the work Monday morning was focused on cleaning out the creeks that feed Lake Conway. The lake has not been contaminated and workers hope to keep it that way.
"This is a much better status than before when we had free-standing oil where the oil is puddled up," said Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson. "The next step is going to be power washing, more than likely. I think we are doing some testing with some power washing right now with the techniques involved there."
CONTINUING COVERAGEClaims info released as Mayflower oil spill cleanup continues (Monday)Wildlife affected by Mayflower oil spill (Monday)History of ExxonMobil's Pegasus Pipeline (Monday)An inside look at Mayflower neighborhood affected by oil spill (Sunday)Hundreds of Mayflower residents demanding answers after major oil spill (Friday - Saturday)