Families displaced by oil spill struggling

MAYFLOWER (KATV) - Twenty-two families were still displaced from their homes Tuesday evening as cleanup continued after an oil pipeline burst last Friday.

A private meeting between ExxonMobile and the families affected by the spill was held at Mayflower High School Tuesday night. Some of those families told Channel 7 News they are staying with other family members while others are being put up in hotels by ExxonMobil. Even though the costs are covered, they said being away from home with only a few suitcases was wearing on them.

"It's been rough," said homeowner Tiffany Arguello. "I mean, it's a little confined space and two kids and nowhere to run around and play and they get frustrated."

Arguello, her husband and their 1- and 4-year-old sons have been living out of a hotel room for the last three days.

"My kids have been sick. They both had the stomach bug and not being able to be home and in their own beds and being able to wash clothes when they're vomiting and being sick in general."

She said all they can do is concentrate on getting through each day because the future is too difficult.

"I had to wash sippi cups in the bathroom sink last night and it was just really stressful.

ExxonMobil officials told Channel 7 News a plan was being developed to phase residents back into their homes but they still would not give any kind of timeline for when that will happen. The next step is replacing the soil impacted by the oil.

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