Mayflower, Arkansas residents won't come home as soon as hoped

    8:07 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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    Video: Oncoming weather could hinder oil spill clean up

    Crews prepping to take ruptured piece of pipeline out. (Photo: Lisa Hutson, THV11)
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    MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KTHV) -- Bad news for some Mayflower residents hoping to move back into their homes after the April 5 oil spill.

    Exxon has been exceptionally tight lipped about some of the advances they've made in the past day, but THV 11 was able to find out that they are prepping the area where the pipe actually ruptured.

    A spokesperson with the company said the pipe will be taken out either Wednesday or the day after, pending weather. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is overseeing the pipe's removal.

    Patrick McGinn with Exxon Mobil said the cleanup efforts are continuing, and the company does have a contingency plan in place to deal with severe storm forecasts.

    "We're using the sunlight and the dry conditions right now to get up as much as we can. At the same time, we've got areas we are cleaning. We don't want rainwater runoff to be carrying oil back into clean areas," said Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson.

    Exxon was hoping at least four residents would be able to go home Tuesday, but unfortunately that has been postponed for several reasons. Some of which, according to the Mayflower mayor, can be attributed to the rainfall that is expected to come through the area late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

    The health department has also said that they don't want anyone coming home until proper air quality tests have been conducted. Those tests were supposed to be taken Tuesday, but those have also been postponed.

    Flight restrictions have been lifted.

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