Resident Speaks Out on Effect of Mayflower Oil Spill

Apr 2, 2013

A resident who lives close to the scene of the oil spill gives this account:

"I live on Highway 365, adjacent to the interstate, in Mayflower. First of all, I feel thankful that the men and women of my community, who have no special training or local oversight, were able to work together and pull resources to contain the oil. When I exited the interstate on my way home on Friday at around 3:30 pm, the oil smell came on all at once.

I seriously worried that something had gone wrong with my vehicle. By the time I found out about the spill, there were more work trucks and sirens than I have ever experienced in our tiny town. The drainage ditch from which the oil traveled, essentially wraps around our property. The smell was extreme. Saturday I went to the laundromat, just a few hundred yards from my home. I pulled in and had to avoid the barrage of Exxon and federal government vehicles with abbreviations I did not know existed.

The fumes of oil were unbearable, I had to cover my nose as I carried my laundry basket. The usual smell of clean clothes was overtaken by the heaviness in oil. There were no polite conversations between patrons, just upsetting stares out the window as 18 wheelers and trucks situated themselves in the parking lot. Machines were brought in that I couldn't even guess their function. I drove around town after leaving. It seemed at every post, parking lot, or gathering area in this minuscule town had been set up as a workstation. I passed by men in Orange rain jackets testing the water of the lake.

All weekend the oil smell ruined any hope of going outside. Sleeping in on Sunday, the smell woke me up by my bedroom window. The air was still heavy and the intensity of the smell varied. Right after sunset, a thick short fog masked my backyard. The smell of oil was again overwhelming. The fog was unusual and I worried about the effects of it.

The subdivision that had the worst oil is right behind my house. The drainage ditch it traveled through is in front and around my house. You think, oil spills are a bummer. You never know the effects of that bummer."