Arkansas oil spill puts Mayflower, Exxon on the national stage

    11:01 PM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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    • Cleanup in Mayflower, Arkansas on Saturday, March 30, 2013. (Photo: Daniel Wilkerson, THV 11)
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    MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KTHV) -- The oil spill is catapulting the small town of Mayflower into the national spotlight. Networks are quickly picking up the news and showing this town to millions of Americans.

    All of this attention is something out of the ordinary for this town of around 2,300 residents that's now inundated with clean-up work crews and the media on a daily basis. THV 11's Max Seigle stopped by two Mayflower staples to see how some long-time residents are feeling about all this attention.

    "I've been in Mayflower all my life," Linda Evans said.

    A Mayflower "lifer," Linda Evans runs Linda's Grocery in town. With more than two decades behind the counter, she always knows the talk of the town, and right now, it's all about the oil spill.

    "Oh, a big talker, a big talker for this little town, yes," Evans said.

    It's been a "talker" making national news like CBS This Morning and the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC.

    "I'm sure a little town like Mayflower never had so much. We're just real popular right now," Evans said.

    Long-timers, like Evans, said they're OK with the attention for now, but not for long.

    "To be cleaned up and be gone," Evans said.   

    Down the road at Stroud's Country Diner, regular Ray York said seeing "Mayflower on the map" is hard to stop in a situation like this.         

    "All we can do is say go with it and hope for the best," York said.

    He did say while everyone's dealing with it, "The people, the extra people that come here, like I say, they've all been super nice. It seems like they came here to get their work done."

    It's a feeling to keep him satisfied during this influx of attention on the ground and on TV.

    Back at the grocery store, Evans said, if anything, her small town now has a few more million people who know about it.

    "We're in the national news. I guess they will know where Mayflower is," Evans said.  

    Some of the national attention has included state leaders appearing on national television about the oil spill. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel appeared on the Rachel Maddow show Tuesday night.  

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