MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KTHV) – When many others were dealing with loss and devastation after ExxonMobil's oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, Stroud's Country Diner saw unexpected benefits.
"During the oil spill we were super busy," said waitress Michelle French. "(For) a good, I'd say six months, maybe a little longer. We had really, really good business."
"Having them (ExxonMobil workers) here was a good thing because our economy went way up," said Ray York, who frequents the diner every day.
In April 2013, Exxon's presence in the town was quite heavy, as they worked to get streets clean and get people back into their homes.
"As far as I'm concerned, they did an excellent job, they done it quick, they hauled things off," said long-time Arkansan Dallas Provin.
York has watched Exxon work for the last year. He said he appreciates the work they've done but it's time for them the leave.
"There's no oil in the lake and they've cleaned the ditches out, made everything better than it ever was before and they're still here," York said.
"The friends that I have, have moved back into the property but they've also been offered buyouts for the property," said John Sanson, who has several friends affected by the spill. "From the follow ups I've had with the people, most of it's fine."
"It has kind of leveled out and now we're back to our normal slow time of the year," French said of the restaurant's business boom.
And her customers are glad to have the spotlight off of their town.
"Most of them I think are kind of done with it because you don't hear the chatter anymore," she said.
Some in Mayflower happy with Exxon: http://on.kthv.com/1kYgiTP
Arkansas oil spill puts Mayflower, Exxon on national stage: http://on.kthv.com/1dHuCuQ