Warren Andrews had just finished putting up balloons for his stepdaughter’s 18th birthday party at their suburban home in Mayflower, Arkansas, when his wife came inside and said something was wrong. After stepping out of his house, and taking one glance, he immediately dialed 911.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ve got a river of oil coming down the street at me,” Andrews told the operator. Five minutes later, the slick of noxious black crude spewing from a ruptured Exxon Mobil pipeline was eight feet wide, six inches deep and growing fast.
In this photo, spilled oil from Exxon pipeline runs through a neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas on March 29, 2013. Reuters was recently given access to the photo from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Exxon is refusing to let reporters anywhere near the accident. They’re also controlling the airspace above the spill. They don’t want you to see what’s happening. TOO BAD, EXXON.
I live in Little Rock, about 30 minutes away, and have been really surprised at the lack of coverage this has received. It’s not like the pipe was hit by something, it just broke open.
Mayflower’s not a big town, but there is a lot of water around. Lake Conway is a major source of water for the area. Not to mention the wildlife and environmental impact. They have a bunch of people there working on it, but I just thought the lack of press coverage was odd. Even locally, they only talked about it sparingly, and just for a few days immediately following the incident.
I drove through Mayflower going to Conway 3 days ago, and the entire town still smells like a tar pit. They are gonna show you pictures of ducks being cleaned, but they don’t show the 3 that died. They don’t tell you that fish are dying, they only show a few that lived.