LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - After purchasing several of the homes most affected by the Mayflower Pipeline rupture, Exxon demolished two of the structures on Monday.
"It was determined that demolition was an efficient and effective way to remove all of that oil from the foundation," said company spokesman Aaron Stryk.
The homes were purchased following the oil spill, and the former residents have since moved out of Mayflower. Each home was demolished by a large backhoe in less than an hour. The outer walls and roof were collapsed inside the home, to create a large pile of wood and scrap metal debris.
Neighbors called it a sad day for their subdivision.
"I've watched the progress of the homes being built, and I see them every morning and to have them torn down in one day, it's just unreal to me," added neighbor Roger Stegall. "It's a sad day because this is my retirement home. We plan to stay, and we don't want to move again because we're both retired."
Stegall and other residents told THV11 that the demolished homes create an eyesore for their subdivision and will only hurt the value of their property. Stegall also describes the neighborhood as a "ghost town" because many former residents have since left since the oil spill.
"We weren't exactly where the oil spill was, but we're still in the subdivision, and it affects us," he said. "I was very upset and my wife was too."