MAYFLOWER, Ark. (KTHV) - Approaching a week from the start of a significant oil spill in Mayflower, ExxonMobil's spokesperson isrelaying more details of how the clean up is going.
Karen Tyrone, Exxon VP of Operations, said crews have removed more than 50 percent of the impacted soil in the evacuated neighborhood.
To physically remove the oil from the ground, vacuum trucks are being used to collect the bulk of it and then crews manuallypick upmore of it using absorbent materials by hand.
Six hundred workers are responding to the cleanup efforts; boom lines in Lake Conway are being used to keep oil from going downstream in that and other waterways.
As of Thursday afternoon, about 19,000 barrels of oil and water had been collected from the Mayflower area.
"We have many vacuum trucks on site sucking the oil out of water pools," said Exxon Vice President of Operations, Karen Tyrone.
The rain causes the heavy crude to spread out and seep to lower in the ground, and more than 600 people are working to restore Mayflower back to normal
"A focus for us now is the impacted neighborhood. For the homes that have impacted soil, we've removed more than 50 percent," said Tyrone.
Boom lines Lake Conway and other waterways to keep oil from going down stream. Once vacuum trucks take in the bulk of the oil, crews use absorbent material by hand.
For those worried excess oil could surface months after Exxon leaves, Tyrone said oil from spills typically moves to ground level.
"It would not migrate underground. It came up and then flowed across soil and ground, just following a low point," explained Tyrone.