MAYFLOWER (KATV) - Crews have been working around the clock since Friday's oil spill scrubbing the streets and driveways of the Northwood subdivision, which is where the pipe burst.
It has already impacted wildlife. Federal authorities called in The Hawk Center to help clean the birds that have been found covered in oil. The Hawk Center is a volunteer organization in Arkansas, completely funded by donations.
"We got a call from an Exxon representative asking what kind of facility we had and what kind of trained personnel we have and how many animals we could take," said Lynne Slater, one of the Hawk Center's volunteers.
They have several patients and expect more to continue coming in. All have been ducks but volunteers said they expect to see animals like otters and beavers. Some are covered so thickly in oil that volunteers can't even tell what kind of duck they are until they've finished cleaning the bird. Everyone inside the clinic has to wear protective eyewear, glove and scrubs because of the hazardous chemicals.
According to Slater, "We have to stabilize the animals and once they're stabilized, then you can start washing them with Dawn. They will take two or three washings, sometimes more to make sure they are clean."
It could take weeks before the animals are returned to the wild because it will take that long for the waterproofing to return to their feathers.
Exxon is bringing in a mobile unit. They will set up a warehouse near the oil spill location and start cleaning animals as they come in and use the Hawk Center for long term care.
While authorities don't know how long it will be before residents will be able to return home, they say it will take weeks before the animals will because that's how long it will take for their natural water-proofing to return to their feathers.
Stopping the oil from leaking into Lake Conway has been their biggest accomplishment.
"We're approximately a mile from Lake Conway or at least from the cove," said Judge Allen Dodson.
Exxon says that have launched a full investigation to find the cause of this rupture. The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission told Channel 7 News that this is an interstate pipeline so there is no local control, oversight or inspection - only federal by the Pipeline and Hazard Material Safety Administration. They are under the federal Department of Transportation.
If you see a duck or any other wildlife that looks to be covered in oil, authorities ask that you not touch it. Immediately call the claims and information hotline at (1-800) 876-9291.
If you would like to help the Hawk Center, see the list below:
Dish washing gloves
Long plastic aprons
Hard Kennel cabs - all sizes
55 Gallon trash bags
Bottled water for our volunteers
Liquid Pepto Bismol
TRANSPORT volunteers for supplies AND animals
1/3 cc syringes
1.0 cc syringes
Bottled water - 500 ml or 16.9 oz bottles for our volunteers
Simple Green brand cleaner
60 gallon trash bags
Waste basket trash bags
Gift cards to Lowes (building supplies)
Gift cards to Wal-mart (animal groceries; i.e. greens, veggies, nuts, etc.)
Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:35 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:35:49 GMT
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